The Golden State Warriors have agreed to send a package including D’Angelo Russell to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins and draft picks. We take a look and grade the trade.
The Golden State Warriors are a part of a blockbuster trade deadline deal! Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Warriors have agreed to trade All-Star D’Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans, and Omari Spellman to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, a protected 2021 first-round draft pick, and a 2021 second-round selection.
The move is the latest in a recent string of deals conducted by Golden State.
Golden State Warriors: A-
This is a great trade for the Warriors. Don’t get me wrong, Russell is an excellent player with major upside. He is still just 23-years-old and is currently averaging a career-best 23.6 points per game along with 6.2 assists and 37.4 percent three-point shooting. He was also an NBA All-Star last season.
However, it feels as though General Manager Bob Myers was able to get a fair return for the young star.
The Timberwolves’ current 15-35 record is one of the worst in the NBA. While Russell could boost the team toward better production over the second half of the season, the Warriors are in a prime position to land a very good draft pick.
While this season is a far cry from the Warriors’ recent string of excellence, losing Russell will allow the team to maximize their own first-round pick. The team’s 12-40 record currently has them on pace for the top overall pick.
The trade gives the Warriors the assets to pursue another major trade or rebuild their roster with two top college players. The team also has a treasure trove of second-round selections at their disposal.
There is one notable factor that prevents this deal from receiving a higher grade. While Wiggins is a young player with obvious talent, he does come at a tremendous cost.
The former first overall pick is currently in the second year of a five-year, $147 million contract. This limits the team’s overall financial flexibility considerably.
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If the Warriors utilize these assets well, they may very well find themselves right back in the NBA Finals mix for the foreseeable future.
Minnesota Timberwolves: B-
The Minnesota Timberwolves felt the pressure the moment superstar Karl-Anthony Towns publicly voiced his displeasure with the team’s lack of success. However, the team responded well by swinging a deal for D’Angelo Russell.
The move gives Towns the best teammate of his NBA career. In fact, it may be the best combination of Timberwolves since Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury. Unlike their predecessors, the two current All-Stars have a close relationship with one another.
Barring a historic turnaround, it seems as though the playoffs are not a possibility for Minnesota this season. However, the team will have a chance to focus on building chemistry between their two stars, while building out the rest of the roster.
For the first time in years, the Wolves feel like they have a legitimate chance at a postseason berth in the near future.
While parting with the first-round pick is a steep price, the team should also feel good about getting Wiggins’ massive contract off their books. Spellman and Evans also present two former first-round picks with decent upside.
This trade gives both teams a higher upside as they build toward the future in different ways.
How do you feel about the Warriors move?