Warriors Trade D’Angelo Russell To Timberwolves

The Warriors have officially traded star guard D’Angelo Russell to the Timberwolves, the teams announced in a pair of press releases. Minnesota has also acquired big man Omari Spellman and guard Jacob Evans along with Russell.

In exchange, Golden State receives swingman Andrew Wiggins, a protected 2021 first-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick. The 2021 first-rounder headed to Golden State will be Minnesota’s own top-three protected pick. It would become unprotected in 2022 if it doesn’t convey next year.

The Wolves’ acquisition of Russell represents the culmination of a pursuit that dates back at least to the 2019 free agent period, when the team made D-Lo its top target and offered him a lucrative four-year contract. Minnesota had hoped to pair the All-Star guard with his good friend Karl-Anthony Towns, but were passed over when the Warriors swooped in with a four-year, max-salary offer. Seven months later, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas got his man.

The blockbuster deal comes at a good time for the Wolves, who have struggled mightily since their 10-8 start, and for Towns, who – after Wednesday’s game – publicly expressed his frustration with all that losing. Towns was also believed to be disappointed by the departure of Robert Covington, who was one of his best friends on the team, so Minnesota will hope that the arrival of Russell can help rejuvenate the big man’s enthusiasm — and get the Wolves a few more wins down the stretch.

The Timberwolves will now enter the summer with a pair of 24-year-old cornerstones on long-term contracts, as Russell is locked up through 2023 and Towns through 2024. They also still have their own 2020 first-round pick, as well as Brooklyn’s lottery-protected first-rounder. So they’ll have the opportunity to bring in a pair of promising prospects or use those picks in trades to further upgrade the roster.

The deal does put the Wolves slightly into tax territory, ESPN’s Bobby Marks reports (via Twitter), so another move could be forthcoming.

Meanwhile, it’s a fascinating pivot for the Warriors, who were said to be seeking a first-round selection in 2021 rather than 2020, since next year’s draft class is expected to be stronger than this year’s. The Wolves reportedly put their own 2020 protected pick and Brooklyn’s lottery-protected pick on the table in a previous offer, but it appears Golden State was willing to accept just a single first-rounder now that it’s a lightly-protected 2021 pick.

Besides the first-round pick and accompanying second-rounder, the Warriors get two things out of the deal: The first is Wiggins, whose max-salary contract had been widely considered a negative. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), however, there’s a contingent within the Warriors who believe that Wiggins is a “salvageable project.” Slater believes the deal will ultimately be judged on whether Golden State can turn Wiggins into the team’s long-term starting small forward or eventually flip him for positive value.

The second perk for the Warriors is that the deal should allow them to sneak out of the tax for this season, which will help them avoid current and future repeater penalties. Marks tweets that the team will be $3.1MM below the tax threshold and should be able to stay below that line even after filling out its roster. Golden State will have six open roster spots, necessitating at least five eventual additions, but the club will be able to stagger those signings to some extent.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first broke the news and reported the terms of the trade (all Twitter links).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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103 thoughts on “Warriors Trade D’Angelo Russell To Timberwolves

    • abssamanta

      Honestly! Man, was getting that first worth losing DLo and gaining Wiggins?! Idk about that.

  1. brian_james

    So if they were concerned about Russell fitting with Steph and Klay, how exactly does Wiggins fit better? He’s a worse shooter and passer, and he’s not any better on defense

    • DC CLOWN

      At least Wiggins is a SF. Russell would have been the sixth man.

      …but that still might have been better…

      • brian_james

        D-Lo would have started next year. You’re allowed to play Klay at the three

        • claude raymond

          He was gonna get traded this summer if not today. And next years draft will be more attractive. I’m ok with the trade BUT I wanted them to wait until summer. So I gotta believe they didn’t feel a better offer was awaiting in the summer. I’m sure they know more than me. PLUS, they can still trade picks, etc.

          I really liked Spellman tho

        • ThePeople'sElbow

          of you’re allowed but does Klay fit at the 3? methinks no.

          Dubs concluded that D.Lo only fit as a 6th man. Can’t pay 6th man max salary.

        • ThePeople'sElbow

          of you’re allowed but does Klay fit at the 3? methinks no.

          Dubs concluded that D.Lo only fit as a 6th man. Can’t pay 6th man max salary.

          • brian_james

            Why doesn’t he fit at the 3? He’s a wing with size. Benching Russell to satisfy some notion of positional requirements wouldn’t make any sense

    • x%sure

      Cmon, Wiggins is smoother inside than Klay, who relies on toughness and ball movement. GSW will be balanced better now. Plus they get a maybe-high 2021 and salary relief. Someday they will be relieved that 2020 was a non-tax year; the CBA keeps track.

    • sleepyfloyd

      The point is that Russel is a pint guard that over dribbles, which is not a guy you want to pair with the ball movement the splash Bros are used to. Can Wiggins be that guy? Only time will tell. Thank

  2. twolvesaremynightmare

    What is GSW thinking? Wiggins is horrible and who they gonna draft LeMelo Ball and Opi Toppin?

    • twolvesaremynightmare

      My bad it’s a 2021 pick if Minnesota doesn’t finish with a top 3 pick. So expect it to be between pick 7-15 next year. I would’ve done that trade just to lose Wiggins even without getting Russel back

      • greenbowlpacker

        Market for Russel was weak. I think Wiggins fits warriors better. He can play the Harrison Barnes roll. Wiggins got talent, playing on bad teams with poor organizations have hurt his growth. Salaries same plus Warriors get a couple of picks.

        • noahrnoahr

          Harrison Barnes was often a black hole for the Warriors and was far better when he was playing PF. I think Wiggins has the same problems, but he’s a better scorer than Barnes. So far, a weaker defender, though.

          The best argument for Wiggins over Russell (or Barnes a few years ago) is that, if the Warriors can get him to really try on a regular basis, maybe he can be something more.

  3. Strike Four

    Absolute worst trade ever. You keep Dlo and flip him in the offseason after teams dont win and want to blow up.

    • claude raymond

      Seriously Strike Four? I’ve followed them for 55 years. Parrish and pick to celtics for celtics pick? With trade, gsw moved up ahead of Boston and drafted jbcarroll. Celtics drafted McHale.

      Essentially trade was Parrish and McHale for Carroll. Top that trade

      • The guy you’re talking to said that the Warriors should have traded D-Lo for Giannis. In other words, their trade value evaluation skillz are a little off.

        • claude raymond

          Thx rct. Sounds like ur telling to not waste time with Strike four

    • Luck of Irish

      I can understand your disappointment because just yesterday you were claiming the Warriors were going to trade DLo for Giannis, KAT, Simmons or Embiid. As others have pointed out, none of those players were available for DLo without attaching a substantial haul of draft picks. Warriors want to acquire picks, not give them up.

      • they are in win now mode (for the next 3 years) so these picks must be for another move in the off season

        • Luck of Irish

          The draft picks will not necessarily be used for more trades. With their cap situation, they need to fill out their roster with young players on cheap contracts. So will probably be a mix – use some for trades, use some for picking players to add to their roster.

    • Looks like you were way, way off in your evaluation of D-Lo’s worth. Two Knicks unprotected 1sts, Barrett, AND Mitchell Robinson, haha. Turns out he was worth about half of that, like everyone was telling you.

  4. skrockij89

    So they didn’t trade the Brooklyn pick to the warriors? Should’ve kept Covington after all.

    • x%sure

      Russell + happy Towns better. An unhappy Towns might depress the whole state of Minnesota, after Garnett & Love, before they got rid of him.

      • fishy 9 dogs

        Yeah, what he’s saying is that the Covington trade did nothing to help us get DLo, so we should have kept him too, and made Towns even happier.

        • x%sure

          Good point; separate factors.
          GM Gersas seemed to want shot creators and didn’t care about defense though. We’ll see how long that lasts.

          Denver started that way, with creators, before trying to tighten the D last year and even harder this year. Maybe it’s the Dantoni model in both cases.

  5. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Golden State now has 9 healthy players, including their two-way contracts. Gonna have to add some players before their next game on Saturday.

    • brian_james

      Sign Trey Burke once Philly cuts him. As a Michigan fan, I’d love to see him start for half a season and score 20 a game, even if it’s on a terrible team

    • JamesW26

      The Nuggets beat the Jazz in Utah last night with only 7 healthy players.

  6. Curtisrowe

    That’s a good trade for Minnesota. Whether you’re a fan or not, Dlo is leagues better than Wiggins and Spellman could be a rotation piece.

  7. Gus Leggett

    I’m a little shocked that GS blinked and gave in on this. Not that I believe DLo is going to improve the Wolves that much. I think GS is banking on the Wolves still being a terrible team next year, so that 2021 draft pick will be a top 10, as long as it’s not a top 3.

    • Curtisrowe

      It isn’t that Dlo will improve the Wolves that much, it’s he is a good player and Wiggins…well.

      • Gus Leggett

        Agreed. But boy, oh boy, is this defense going to be TERRIBLE now. Was never gdecent to being with, but I am betting Vanterpool just started pulling his hair out, asking how he is supposed to devise a defensive game plan with these guys.

  8. A top 3 protected 1st, even a year away, is a valuable pick. That would be an overpay if it were Russell for an expiring deal, but to get GSW to absorb Wiggins along with it, I think Minn did very well.

    The GM who made this deal knows they have to be substantially better this time next year or he’ll be on life support. His coach has to know that he’ll be fired before that. You got your buddy as requested, KAT, now take ownership of the team and its results.

    • Gus Leggett

      Amen to that! KAT looked completely disinterested in last night’s game, while pouting that RoCo was traded away. He has now gotten what he wanted, so now they HAVE to win.

  9. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Warriors have basically replaced Kevin Durant with Andrew Wiggins.

    • SheaGoodbye

      They were going to lose Durant anyway so it’s an irrelevant point.

      Meanwhile, the Rockets gave away multiple first-round picks in order to get Westbrook and the team hasn’t gotten better, perhaps even worse.

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      HOU will be lucky to make it to the Conf finals this year. Basically gave up Chris Paul, Clint Capela and more for Westbrick and RoCo. Good luck with that.

      It’s so obvious that Morey has a GSW fetish. He’s consumed by everything GSW does and has tried to do everything to be just like them. How pathetic!

    • noahrnoahr

      KD was leaving as a free agent. This is what really happened

      The Warriors traded Igoudala, Evans, Spellman, their 2024 first rounder (top 4 protected, or 2025 top 1 protected or unprotected 2026) and their 2025 second rounder for

      Wiggins, Minnesota’s 2021 first rounder and their 2022 second rounder.

      I don’t really like Wiggins, but this isn’t exactly a totally lopsided change, and it was from a position of severe disadvantage in light of KD’s departure.

  10. All Minnesota Sports

    Gerson is incredible. I am in awe of this. We get Spellman, too?! Wow. I can’t even rn. Thank you GR. We sing your praises.

    Also, I do think Wigs will be better in GS. He needs a winning environment and accountability. But this was not the best trade GS could have gotten if they only waited till the off-season.

    • fishy 9 dogs

      So much agree. I’m ecstatic right now. What an amazing deal for Minny.

    • twolvesaremynightmare

      Winning environment??? Have you seen Golden State play this year.

      • All Minnesota Sports

        Ok, winning environment when their whole team isn’t hurt?…

      • ThePeople'sElbow

        recency bias much, you must think cuz it rained yesterday that it will rain tomorrow too. FFS!

  11. Not the best trade for the Warriors.

    But is Andrew Wiggings, a most likely lottery pick in 2021 (deep draft), a second round pick, and shaving money off the tax line better than gaining nothing for losing Kevin Durant? Yeah it is still tremendously better than nothing.

    I just hope Kerrs system and Warriors Culture enhances Wiggins. With the best 3 pt backcourt ever surrounding wiggins, he might play well.

    Warriors also must’ve really felt pesimistic of running steph and d lo at the same time.

      • Its easy to not care playing for the wolves, with all the coaching changes and toxicity that was there.

    • noahrnoahr

      I agree, but you also have to consider the other things they had to give up to make the Nets trade happen, i.e., Iguodala, a 2024 (or 2025 or 2026) first rounder and a 2025 second rounder.

      If they can make something of Wiggins, it’s still probably better than letting KD leave for nothing, though.

  12. JBHoops

    Yeah, I don’t get this. Warriors could have traded Russell + the #1 pick plus other picks to get either Simmons or Embiid. Wiggins plus these picks is not as appealing to the Sixers. Super weird. What is Bob Myers thinking? Is Myers that desperate for a 1st rd pick to control, even if it may be in the 18-20s range next year? … why?

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      dude, CLE and NYK will be worse than Minny next year. So only one other team needs to finish worse and the pick conveys. Many reports are indicating Bob is more bullish on the 2021 draft than 2020.

      They only have one player in mind for this year and that’s who they’re taking at #1.

      • JBHoops

        1. That’s not how the lottery and draft protections work.
        2. They could’ve packaged a top 3 pick with Russell and other picks for a major player. Now they can’t. That’s what they gave up. No one wants Wiggins. And you’re not getting Simmons or Embiid or Giannis or anyone major for just picks. You’d need also a really good young player most likely. See Paul George trade.

        So they gave up a huge opportunity for a 1st round pick in 2021 that could be a playoff level pick… and Andrew Wiggins. Yeah, I can’t sign on to say that was a good idea.

        • noahrnoahr

          Dude, to get George, the Clips had to trade Gallinari, SGA and five first round picks. If that’s what Embiid or whoever would have cost (and it is what he or those guys should cost), the Warriors had no way to match that. SGA alone has way more trade value than Russell.

    • noahrnoahr

      “Warriors could have traded Russell + the #1 pick plus other picks to get either Simmons or Embiid.”

      Presumably that is not true or the Warriors would not have made this trade.

    • hopper15

      “Warriors could have traded Russell + the #1 pick plus other picks to get either Simmons or Embiid”

      lol Maybe in their dreams.

  13. bw22

    I actually like this for both teams.

    Twolves get a pg in D-LO they can market around and should also make KAT happy.

    GS gets a SF in Wiggins who is only 24 and is having a great year so far. I think he slots in perfectly having all that shooting around him on GS.

    What’s not to like?

    • twolvesaremynightmare

      Wiggins is not having a good year! He’s a terribly inefficient basketball that doesn’t care to get better.

      • ThePeople'sElbow

        he is having a good year, his best career year. His efficiency and scoring are up and it’s the first time he’s had a PER above the league average.

        D.Lo get the wolves to 32 wins? Congrats!

  14. rycm131

    Thought: defenses will focus on SC and Klay allowing Wiggins to get easier shots and prob better stats. Thus you can flip him for a higher value sometime in 2021 than you just paid for him now.

  15. Dxit90a

    Interesting trade. Might make Wiggin a better player playing with green and curry and Thompson. I still believe in Wiggins potential. Dlo will be great for wolves .

  16. So where’s that guy from yesterday in the comments who was saying that D-Lo was worth the Knicks sending two non-protected first rounders, Barrett, and Mitchell Robinson? lmao. Turns out he’s worth Wiggins and a top 3 protected pick.

  17. digitalian

    The Warriors are flailing. Wiggins is not a winning player – a great athlete who is not a great basketball player.
    They also belatedly give up on Evans who they should have dumped last year when they saw what everyone else who saw him play for Santa Cruz in the G league did – that he was not even close to being as good as his teammate Kendrick Nunn who the Warriors could have kept instead had they dumped Evans.

    • x%sure

      Good point on Myers. And ther’s more besides Evans that did get a slot.

    • noahrnoahr

      They could not have kept Kendrick Nunn and cut Evans because they were hard-capped. Evans’s contract is guaranteed and they could have only replaced him with a minimum salary player. Nunn is making more than the minimum.

  18. rexington12

    Wiggins has a lot of untapped potential. he may be a better fit in GS defense than he was in Minny. And being able to practice with Draymond, Steph and Klay will surely help

  19. SheaGoodbye

    Seems pretty clear that the Warriors think they can get more out of Wiggins than he’s shown to this point, otherwise this deal doesn’t make much sense for them. And if there’s an organization that can make that happen, it would be the Warriors along with a few others.

    Nice get for the Wolves either way. You’d be crazy not to like this from their perspective.

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      doesn’t make sense how. even the most attuned GSW warriors recognized that at best D.Lo is a 6th man on a championship team, kinda like Lou Williams. And you just can’t get away paying your 6th man max salary.

      This trade only appeases KAT but will not move the needle in terms of Ws for the Wolves one bit.

      • SheaGoodbye

        I meant more in the sense of getting Wiggins and his max out of town, as it seems that they were never going to be able to get more out of him even with his improvements this season. I’m sure fans were sick of him and looking forward to a change of scenery.

        That being said, I don’t think Dlo is going to take them to the promised land, but I do think they will be better with him.

        More importantly, I think Gerson did well with his other trades.

  20. hiflew

    I really don’t get all the hate for Wiggins. Sure he is overpaid, but it’s not your money. People go overboard on these guys salaries. Just focus on his play on the court. He’s not that bad a player and he is still young enough that he could get even better. He will probably never reach his projected heights, but they were a little unfair anyway. When he came into Kansas, he was expected to be the best player of his generation. No one deserves to be saddled with those expectations. Look at how it destroyed OJ Mayo.

    • digitalian

      The main reason smart people focus on the salary of players is because there is a salary cap in the NBA (read up on it). Overpaid mediocre players hinder a team from building out a roster that can compete for a championship.

      • hiflew

        Okay smart guy. If you remove Wiggins’s salary from the T-Wolves at the beginning of this season, please build a championship roster with the remaining players and his salary. It’s okay, I’ll wait.

      • x%sure

        The main reason even smarter people can overlook salaries is because they can be traded for another overpaid player in a way that will help a GM better achieve his goals.

        For instance, this trade. Missing in the D-Lo/Wigs analysis is that GSW gets a top3-protected-r1 and MIN placates their star.

        Everyone knows there is a cap and all teams spend about the same (except for Ballmer). Gotta work it

      • greenbowlpacker

        Traded two max contract players for each other. Wolves get a different poor defensive ball dominant over paid guard; warriors gain a 1st and a player who fits better into next years lineup. Wiggins never been part of a championship organization . He is young and is talented. See him in Harrison Barnes roll.
        Steph, Clay, draymond, Wiggins and looney. Draft center from Memphis wiseman. Need to build depth with vets minimum or youngsters

    • formerlyz

      The problem with Wiggins is he never even seemed like he even likes basketball, and never really cared to put in any effort. This year, he seemed to finally show some signs of caring. I’ve gone into this a lot in the past, so I’ll just leave it at that.

      • x%sure

        Agree formerlyz, including Wigs getting down, the other side of the coin. Cannot separate the sides without a dangerous laser device. I’ll leave the stretched metaphor at that.

    • SheaGoodbye

      Before this season, Wiggins was an inefficient, low BBIQ, selfish, lazy, bad basketball player on an awful contract.

      This year he has been better in multiple areas, no doubt, but it’s still hard to like a guy who completely phoned it in for several years after getting paid.

  21. Wiggins looks PUMPED to be moving to California and joining an organization like the Warriors.

    If there is any team to motivate him and evolve him as a player, its this franchise. Or Spurs haha

  22. formerlyz

    I’m really curious to see how GS fills out those roster spots. It feels like this is a loss for GS in some ways, as Russell is better than Wiggins, but I do feel like its more marginal than it seems in some areas, but bad in other areas. Wiggins has been better in some areas this year for the first time as well, and I also think that Draymond Green and Steph Curry will be good motivators for him, and can push the right buttons. Draymond is more of a hype up type of guy than Butler around a guy like that, in my opinion. He wont stand for the same stuff Butler didn’t, but he’ll do it in a way to try and really instill confidence and some kind of motor in Wiggins, and maybe that will help. Maybe they can help him use his athleticism and length defensively, and help him with his efficiency offensively in a more structured offense. He has been a better playmaker at times this year, so that can help.

    Meanwhile, off the top of my head, Minnesota has an interesting group. Russell, Beasley, Culver, James Johnson, KAT, with Okogie, Spellman, whoever they decide to keep off the bench. Right now its Crabbe, and Evans, and Hernangomez, and I could see Turner being bought out, or Evans being cut depending on if they keep Turner

    • formerlyz

      …something else I probably also should have mentioned is that the top of this year’s draft looks like a bunch of scoring guards that probably arent too outside of Russell’s skillset, although Russell is a really good playmaker and passer, and has more to tap into in that area

  23. x%sure

    Credit to Rosas, first getting Denver’s underutilized solo-type players, then D’Lo, a splendid solo-type player. Not sure what the Wolves will look like now but he gave the team the shake-up he promised.

    Nobody on this site advised the Wiggins max-out but that is shifted now.

    Wolves defense will be terrible but that is for the offseason.

    The traded players are likely happy. D’Lo got his salary and his team. Wiggins got some teammates that thrive on the pressure to win & want it & have done it. Wiggins doesn’t need to worry about it and can be the new Barnes.

  24. BackFat

    I believe Wiggins will thrive with GS. If Wiggins can’t get it together w/ GS he’s a lost overpaid cause. The spacing should allow him to be one of the best slashers in the league. He’s shown flashes of lockdown D and I don’t think he’ll get away coasting with his new teammates.

    Dlo will force KAT to sit or get off the pot. There’s no more excuses for him. I love seeing trades like this. Props to both sides. This is a good trade for both teams.

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