You can pump the brakes on those Warriors-Minnesota Timberwolves trade rumors.
It's no secret that the T-Wolves desperately want to acquire D'Angelo Russell from Golden State. They have been in hot pursuit of the guard ever since he came to the Warriors in a sign-and-trade for Kevin Durant's departure last summer.
With Thursday's noon trade deadline fast approaching, the rumors have been ramping up, as The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported Monday night that Golden State recently turned down Minnesota's offer of two first-round draft picks in exchange for Russell, and Andrew Wiggins-Russell rumors swirling all day Tuesday.
While the Timberwolves were said to still be in pursuit of additional assets to help convince Golden State to part with Russell, it appears they've been unsuccessful in that endeavor. The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Tuesday evening that the Warriors have moved on from those discussions with Minnesota, citing sources.
Golden State is moving on from D’Angelo Russell conversations with Minnesota at this juncture, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Warriors have been clear with Minnesota on price point — and Timberwolves, to this point, are not willing to meet it.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 5, 2020
The Warriors hold all the leverage in any Russell trade with Minnesota, and clearly, they're using it. Russell is in the midst of a career year, and turns 24 years old later this month. Golden State is in no rush to trade him and would be willing to wait until the offseason (or later) to move him, so it's no surprise that they're asking for a large haul from the Timberwolves if they want to acquire him right now.
If the Warriors wait, there's a good chance they would have more suitors to pit against one another, which could drive up the price through a bidding war.
Hours after Charania reported that Golden State has moved on from those discussions with Minnesota, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Timberwolves were involved in a massive four-team, 12-player trade in which they acquired the Brooklyn Nets' 2020 first-round draft pick from the Atlanta Hawks.
Deal is agreed upon, and players are being informed now. https://t.co/Zmy0yYsckE— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 5, 2020
That Brooklyn pick was one of the two first-rounders the Warriors turned down, according to O'Connor, with the other being Minnesota's own. However, Charania and The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski reported late Tuesday night that no such offer was ever made.
"But those talks have stalled," Charania and Krawczynski wrote, "with the Wolves so far unwilling to meet the Warriors’ demand to include their own unprotected 2020 first-round pick in the deal, sources said."
"Unprotected" is the key word there. It's possible Minnesota has offered up its own 2020 first-rounder along with the Nets' pick to the Warriors in exchange for Russell, but with certain lottery protections that Golden State finds unsatisfactory. It's difficult imagining the Warriors accepting such a trade, since they're bound to get a better offer elsewhere.
So, it sounds like the odds are increasing that Russell will remain with Golden State beyond the trade deadline. Of course, if the Timberwolves get desperate enough and offer their unprotected pick along with Brooklyn's, that could potentially give the Warriors not one, not two, but three lottery picks (including their own) in the upcoming draft.
That might be enough to get the deal done.
Programming Note: The "2020 NBA Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way this Thursday at 11:30am on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBayArea.com! Our NBA Insiders will analyze all of the news and rumors that could impact the Warriors heading into the Noon deadline. Don’t miss it!