The Golden State Warriors traded D’Angelo Russell to the Minnesota Timberwolves but the recently-created superstar duo already has its doubters.
This offseason, the Golden State Warriors signed D’Angelo Russell. At the time, the fit was relatively unknown. As the season progressed, the Warriors must have grown a bit uncertain about their superstar addition.
Russell was having a career year, yet the Warriors still weren’t happy with how the team’s future was looking. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have led the backcourt for years, and shaking things up may not be easy for a team with such chemistry.
Before they were even able to see the fit at its height, the Warriors dealt Russell. Joining best friend Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota, the Warriors brought back Andrew Wiggins, a top-three protected 2021 first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick.
It was a decent haul, yet most expected more. That said, everyone has different opinions on Russell and his play. To say the least, ESPN’s Nick Friedell is against the Minnesota future as a legitimate option to contend.
On ESPN’s The Jump, he discussed his views.
“No, I am all the way out on the Timberwolves. I don’t believe that Karl-Anthony Towns is mature enough as a leader to be the face of a team that can contend and grow. I think that D’Angelo Russell was really solid in my dealings with him in Golden State, but there’s a reason why the Warriors traded him. They did not believe that he was a core piece of a possible title contender,” Friedell said.
The Timberwolves could make a late-season playoff push. Now with KAT and Russell, two players that could be perennial All-Star candidates, the Wolves should have at least a playoff-contending team.
However, that’s not good enough for the Golden State Warriors, a team that’s been to five NBA Finals in the past…. five years. They’re looking big picture, and Russell just isn’t in their long-term plans. However, they were able to find a win-win trade.
The Golden State Warriors are in a perfect position to compete for next season, and they were able to rid themselves of a player that’ll likely always be a top-two player on a team that fails to exit the first round of the playoffs.