D’Angelo Russell’s time in Golden State was short-lived.
The Warriors traded the star guard to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, a 2021 protected first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick, Minnesota informed on Thursday.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the deal.
Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman will also head to Minnesota as part of the blockbuster deal.
The Warriors obtained Russell, 23, in a sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets this offseason, shocking the NBA world.
The Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers were expected to be his primary suitors.
There were questions about how Russell and Steph Curry would coexist on both ends of the floor, especially defensively, as neither player is stout on that end.
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Offensively, the Warriors figured to work more pick-and-rolls into their scheme to highlight Russell’s strengths, while Curry would be asked to play off the ball a bit more as well, which didn’t seem like a stretch given his effectiveness as a shooter coming off screens.
With Klay Thompson recovering from an ACL tear and Kevin Durant now in Brooklyn, the Warriors had to make the Russell-Curry partnership work. Those plans hit a snag, however, when Curry broke his left hand in late October.
While Russell averaged 23.6 points and 6.2 assists with the Warriors, shooting 43.0 percent from the field and 37.4 from three, he was always an option to be traded ahead of the deadline for a more natural fit as the Warriors attempt to restock for a playoff run next campaign.
He now heads to his third team in the past year, where he’ll bring his scoring and playmaking out of the pick-and-roll. Russell was never a natural fit in Golden State. A change of scenery should benefit both sides.
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