Now with the Minnesota Timberwolves, D’Angelo Russell was a player the Golden State Warriors wanted to hang on to. The offer was just too sweet.
The Golden State Warriors dealt D’Angelo Russell prior to the 2020 trade deadline, but they apparently said no numerous times before finally agreeing on a deal that sent the young All-Star guard to Minnesota.
The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski (subscription required) wrote that the team turned down the Timberwolves offer several times. Obviously, with Russell on the Timberwolves now, we know a deal was eventually done. It was a win-win for both organizations.
It actually all started in the 2019 offseason, a period in time where Minnesota made a hard push for Russell.
They wanted the duo of Russell and center Karl-Anthony Towns, two players that everyone knows have a close friendship dating back to before they were chosen No. 2 and No. 1 respectively in the 2015 NBA Draft.
Pairing those two would give the Wolves the future of their franchise.
But, they struck out getting the young guard in free agency. The Warriors were able to get Russell in a sign-and-trade, a deal that gave Golden State leverage as Russell was tied up for several years after signing a max-value contract that offseason.
The Warriors wanted to pair Russell with their elite backcourt duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The five-time All-Star Thompson was hurt all of the 2019-2020 season and Curry played in just five games.
Not being able to see the trio at work, general manager Bob Myers still pulled the trigger on a deal that brought in Andrew Wiggins and the Wolves top-three protected 2021 first-round pick. It sent multiple players in addition to Russell to Minnesota.
The fit of Wiggins and the value of the pick were huge positives for the Warriors. Apparently, they were more ideal for Golden State and having Russell on the roster. Most should agree that it was a good deal for Golden State as the addition of Russell was also mind-boggling.
The Warriors didn’t get what they wanted during Russell’s time in the Bay Area, winning just 15 games and oftentimes leaving him on an island offensively. It was time to move on from Russell and the season in general.
Loaded with picks, the Warriors have a bright future, but it came at the cost of an All-Star the team clearly wanted to hold on to.