The Minnesota Timberwolves finally got their man. The Warriors are trading D’Angelo Russell to the Wolves in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, a protected 2021 first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick. Minnesota will also receive Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans.
Leading up to the trade, sources told Heavy.com that Minnesota had not relented in their pursuit of the point guard despite reports that the two sides were far from an agreement. The team worked around the clock to find a way to bring the coveted point guard to the team and the club was parsing the market for a potential third team to send Wiggins to as part of the Russell deal.
No other team was needed as the Warriors saw some value in the former Kansas University star. The two sides reconnected late Wednesday night, which turned out to be a fruitful conversation.
The Wolves’ front office believes Russell is the perfect long-term partner for Karl-Anthony Towns. The two are friends off the court and their on-court game should mesh well.
Russell was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft. He spent two seasons with the Lakers before the team sent him to Brooklyn in a deal that netted Kyle Kuzma. Russell joined the Warriors via the Kevin Durant sign-and-trade this past summer and the franchise surrendered a first-round pick in order to bring the guard on board.
Andrew Wiggins Heading To Golden State
Wiggins, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft, will join the Warriors’ roster that is ultra-talented, though stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are currently injured. Leading up to the trade it was no secret that if the Wolves were going to bring in Russell that Wiggins would have to end up elsewhere because of the 24-year-old’s salary.
In the past, Wiggins’ contract, which will pay him $94.74 over the three seasons after this one, was seen as a deterrent. Sources told Heavy.com that the perception is simply no longer reality.
The Warriors take the next two months to evaluate Wiggins within Steve Kerr’s system. He’ll have an opportunity to play alongside Draymond Green and Eric Paschall, two players that will certainly be with the team once Curry and Thompson are back healthy next season.
Wiggins selected by the Cavaliers atop the 2014 draft, though LeBron James’ return to Cleveland quickly altered the team’s plans and they traded Wiggins to Minnesota in a package for Kevin Love. Wiggins’ career has been up-and-down, though this season he’s improved as a result of better shot selection. The Wolves’ player development staff have placed an emphasis on shot selection and Wiggins bought it. He was averaging a career-high 6.5 attempts from behind the arc this year.
The forward seems happy to be headed to Golden State.
Wiggins will have plenty of opportunities immediately, as the team’s star backcourt is currently sidelined. He’ll be able to play a lesser role next season once the team is healthy again. Fourth-option Wiggins will be a thing and it should revitalize his career.