Minnesota had been pursuing Russell for months, having missed out on him in free agency last summer. Russell’s good friend Karl-Anthony Towns has expressed frustration of late, and the Timberwolves have been working hard to unite the pair. It’s a pick-and-roll partnership that will wreak havoc, but defensively has some serious concerns.
Wiggins has been a huge disappointment. His contract seemed immovable without attaching further assets. Perhaps a change of scene and environment will bring out the best in the former first overall pick. The Warriors are relying on that being the case.
Minnesota have the Atlanta Hawks’ first-round pick as well as their own. It’s a surprise to see them land Russell, while getting off of Wiggins’ deal, without giving up more draft capital. This looks a good trade for the Timberwolves, and a slightly disappointing return for the Warriors on first glance. That, of course, could all change if the Warriors can transform Wiggins into the athletic, do-it-all wing he showed flashes of earlier this season.
After moving Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III in Wednesday night’s trade with Philadelphia, the Warriors have potentially got themselves under the tax. Resetting the penalties could prove important for a franchise committed long-term to Wiggins, Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
One of the most rumoured deals in the 2019/20 trade season, this still comes as a surprise. Talks appeared to have halted over the last few days, and it made sense for the Warriors to wait until the summer. Avoiding the tax clearly forced the issue in San Francisco, who will be keeping a close eye on Minnesota’s record next season.