“Ladies and gentlemen, we got him!”
Golden State has agreed to trade D'Angelo Russell to Minnesota for a deal that includes Andrew Wiggins, a 2021 protected first-round pick and a 2022 second-round pick, league sources tell ESPN. Warriors will send Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman to Timberwolves too.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2020
After countless recruitment's, discussions, rumors, reports, tweets, and #takes, the Minnesota Timberwolves finally landed their white whale. Since Gersson Rosas took over less than 12 months ago, he promised to go “big game hunting” for another star to pair next to Karl-Anthony Towns, and with this morning’s bombshell from Adrian Wojnarowski, it looks like #TrustTheRosas has officially delivered.
For those of you wondering about that second-round pick:
Clarification: Minnesota's second-round pick going to Golden State is in 2021 -- not 2022.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2020
If you’re looking for thorough, instant analysis of this deal, then I am NOT the guy for you. Instead, my initial feelings are a blender ball mix of relief, excitement, joy, and rejuvenation. Being a fan of the Wolves has essentially been a prison sentence for as long as I can remember, and up until this morning, things had never looked bleaker for the Minneapolis franchise. Landing an All-Star PG, who doesn’t turn 24-years old until February 23, and pairing him with one of his best friends in Towns is quite possibly the most important move since the franchise drafted Kevin Garnett.
Will this dynamic duo finally bring the Wolves back to relevance? Who knows. But that’s not what today is about. Today is about celebrating a front office that used innovation, creativity, and determination to deliver the exact things they promised less than a year ago.
Back to the trade... it does appear (at least to me) that the Wolves won the stare down with Golden State when it came to pick compensation. Minnesota will now enter this summer with two first round picks (theirs plus the Brooklyn pick they acquired in the Robert Covington trade) and will be well suited to make additional moves to surround KAT/D-Lo with the necessary pieces. It is still a tad frightening to know that the Wolves *could* be giving up an unprotected pick in 2022 (depending on how 2021 plays out), but at this point in time, that’s just the cost of doing business (and the cost of dumping Andrew Wiggins).
Speaking of Wiggins - it’s important to mention here that Andrew Wiggins was a really good dude. His production never caught up to his career earnings, which is kind of important in a salary cap league, but he also never caused the type of headaches or internal issues that so many other “top” players in this league have done. The Wiggins experiment was never going to work in Minnesota, and if the light finally comes on for him on the West Coast, so be it. As I’ve stated 100 times over the last few weeks on this site, the only true way for this franchise to turn the page on a new era was to rip the band-aid all the way off, and it appears like Thursday’s news is the latest example of that.
ONE LAST THOUGHT
I want to get in on this #take early before some Bleacher Report intern steals it... With Towns/Russell under contract for the foreseeable future, and with 2 first round picks (plus young players like Josh Okogie, Jarrett Culver, and Malik Beasley), I just want everyone to remember that this picture exists:
UPDATE: WE HAVE MORE NEWS!
Minnesota has joined the Miami-Memphis deal -- and will trade Gorgui Dieng for James Johnson, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2020
As if there wasn’t enough shocking Wolves-related news today, it now looks like Gorgui Dieng is being shipped to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for James Johnson. Johnson has a $15.8 million dollar player option next year which he is almost certain to pick up, but his deal is technically $2 million dollars less than Dieng’s final year, so the Wolves do carve out a little more wiggle room in their financials.