Report: Warriors trading D’Angelo Russell to Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins, picks

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The Timberwolves tried to sign D'Angelo Russell last summer. After he joined the Warriors, Minnesota tried to trade for him – both directly with Golden State and by roping in other teams. The Timberwolves told everyone how badly they wanted Russell.

Two days ago, the Warriors said no. Minnesota seemingly moved on.

But apparently the Timberwolves finally wore down Golden State.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

That is a shockingly meager return for the Warriors, who went to great lengths to acquire Russell (as what everyone presumed to be a trade chip.) They gave Russell a four-year max contract, sent the Nets what will become a second-round pick in a sign-and-trade, sent the Grizzlies a first-round pick and Andre Iguodala to clear room and accepted a hard cap.

All that for this?

Andrew Wiggins fits better than Russell with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. The catch: Wiggins isn’t good.

Maybe the Warriors can develop him. They have a strong organizational culture, and he has the tools to be a far better player than he has been.

But this is an expensive bet. With three additional seasons and $94,738,170 remaining on his contract, Wiggins was generally viewed as holding negative value.

Russell will improve the Timberwolves, who’ve been undermanned at point guard. Frustrated Karl-Anthony Towns should be happier, especially considering his friendship with Russell. (Devin Booker to Minnesota next?) Still, this is far from a finished product.

So, Golden State could get a high pick. Except the top-three protection limits the upside in 2021. By 2022, Minnesota will have even more time to climb out of the basement.

The Warriors also surrendered Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman. Neither has shown much, but as recent first-round picks, they still held a little shine.

Unloading those two will allow Golden State – which is also trading Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks to the 76ers – to dodge the luxury tax. That’ll pay off if the Warriors spend big and don’t have to pay the repeater rate next season.

The Timberwolves move over the luxury-tax line. Expect them to shed salary before the trade deadline.