Warriors

Simmons, Lowe revisit how Warriors won trade with T-Wolves

Warriors
Andrew Wiggins D'Angelo Russell

The Warriors, just before the 2019-20 NBA trade deadline, sent D'Angelo Russell (along with Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman) to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Golden State in exchange received Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota's 2021 top-three protected first-round pick (becomes unprotected in 2022 if not conveyed in 2021) and Minnesota's 2021 second-round pick.

Wiggins -- despite his offensive dip the last 17 games -- has had a pretty solid season so far, and fills a position of need for the Warriors.

Russell, meanwhile, is shooting below 43 percent from the field, and could be sidelined until April after undergoing left knee surgery in mid-February.

Plain and simple, it has been a disastrous season for the T-Wolves, who boast the worst record in the NBA (7-29).

On the most recent episode of "The Lowe Post" podcast, ESPN's Zach Lowe and The Ringer's Bill Simmons briefly revisited the deal between Golden State and Minnesota.

Simmons: "They might have lost the Wiggins-Russell trade without the pick [being involved]."

Lowe: "Without the pick! Which was completely foreseeable. It's not wild that happened at all. Including the pick at that level made it a clear Warriors win. I said it at the time when everyone was exuberant about Russell and Towns coming together."

Simmons: "Not me! Not me! This guy was not exuberant."

 

Lowe: "Zoom out and Minnesota's biggest problem as a franchise is that D'Angelo Russell just isn't as good as they thought. I'm not sure he's a top-15 starting point guard in the NBA right now."

In case you're curious, Lowe nailed the analysis when discussing the transaction back in February 2020.

"A draft pick that has a chance to be the single best acquired draft asset in the whole NBA for the next couple years," he explained. "They made a choice, 'We want the draft pick because we think that we can redeem Wiggins enough that that draft pick is worth it.' And I actually don't mind that calculus for the Warriors.

"He at least has a chance to be an OK defensive player. I don't think Russell has a chance to be an OK defensive player."

Wiggins has been way more than just "OK," and without question is playing the best defense of his career.

RELATED: Jim Barnett frustrated with Wiggins in one specific area

As for that valuable Minnesota pick, the Warriors absolutely hope it conveys this season and they end up with the No. 4 or No. 5 selection in the 2021 draft.

It definitely will be disappointing if the lottery doesn't work in their favor, and they end up with the No. 11 overall pick in 2022. That, of course, assumes the T-Wolves are much improved next season and/or the Warriors don't eventually trade the asset.

So ultimately, we still can't fully evaluate the deal. But so far, it definitely is looking like a "win" for the Warriors.

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