The Golden State Warriors made a massive trade centered around Russell and Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and head coach Steve Kerr has not held back his thoughts.
The blockbuster Andrew Wiggins for D’Angelo Russell trade finally happened and appears to be a win-win for both teams thus far. The biggest issue with the Golden State Warriors and Russell was the questionable fit, which the team now has an upgrade at.
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However, with Kevin Durant departing to the Brooklyn Nets, the team had the option to lose him for nothing or sign Russell to a max-contract. With Thompson likely going to miss the entire year, pairing him alongside Curry had the potential to be entertaining.
Yet, Curry has only played in four games this season due to a broken left hand and has the Warriors in a state of disaster.
Hoping to make an immediate splash next season, the team was looking at trade options for Russell for most of the season and pulled the trigger on the day of the deadline.
Acquiring Andrew Wiggins as the centerpiece of the trade has head coach Steve Kerr excited, as he has publicly shared his feeling with the media. He had the following to say about Russell’s departure.
"“To be perfectly blunt, the fit was questionable when we signed him. When you already have Steph and Klay, and you add a ball-dominant guard, you can rightfully question the fit.”"
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Kerr clearly was not entirely on board with the idea of signing Russell from the beginning this past offseason. Now he has a better positional fit in a small forward on his team and believes Wiggins brings endless amounts of talent to this roster already full of it.
Kerr made an appearance on KNBR 680, a radio station, to discuss his thoughts on the newly acquired Wiggins. He told them, “It’s a positional fit when we’re healthy. The big hole in the roster really is at the three.”
Having the luxury of coaching Kevin Durant, who won two NBA Finals MVPs with the team, Kerr understands the importance of the small forward position. Wiggins is not at Durant’s level, but the Warriors’ coach thinks the 24-year-old has potential with a healthy Golden State squad.
"“He’s been in a tough spot, and people have talked about him underachieving the last few years, so let’s see what we can do, and let’s see what he can do next to a group of players who have been wildly successful.”"
Andrew Wiggins is widely criticized for his inability to improve after a strong start to his career. Playing alongside lethal scorers in Curry and Thompson will no doubt alleviate some of the pressure off of the small forward, and set him up to succeed in a system like this.
For now, health remains the most significant factor in all of this as we will likely not see Curry, Thompson, and Wiggins on the court together until next season.
Even without the star duo, Wiggins has integrated nicely in the Warriors’ system, averaging 21.0 points per game on 53.8 percent field goal shooting and 45.5 percent from behind the arc.
Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come with a bright future ahead.