NBA rumors: Warriors nixed Timberwolves' D'Angelo Russell trade offer

NBA rumors: Warriors nixed Timberwolves' D'Angelo Russell trade offer

There's a bottleneck forming ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline, and the Warriors reportedly are at the center of it.

Teams around the league are inquiring with one another in an effort to boost their rosters for the playoff push. Golden State definitely isn't headed to the postseason, but one or more of its players might be. D'Angelo Russell has performed even better this season than he did last year as an All-Star with the Brooklyn Nets, and he reportedly is in high demand.

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported Monday night that the Minnesota Timberwolves remain intent on acquiring Russell from the Warriors to pair with big man Karl-Anthony Towns. To do so, however, they must first acquire more assets than what they currently have in their arsenal to be able to convince Golden State to depart with its most valuable trade chip.

With that in mind, O'Connor reported that the Timberwolves recently engaged in discussions with the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks on a three-team trade that would have sent Robert Covington from Minnesota to Houston, Clint Capela from Houston to Atlanta, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2020 first-round pick to Minnesota via Atlanta. With that framework set up, the Timberwolves reportedly offered their own 2020 first-round pick along with the Nets' pick to the Warriors in exchange for Russell, but Golden State declined.

So, back to the drawing board for Minnesota.

The Timberwolves reportedly have been asking for two first-round picks in exchange for Covington, and according to O'Connor, that has everything to do with their pursuit of Russell. It's possible Golden State would also be interested in a package including one first-rounder and a young player, and as O'Connor summarized, "there’s a deal to be made for Russell if the Wolves can come up with enough assets and don’t protect their own first-round pick."

According to O'Connor, the Timberwolves prefer to acquire Russell ahead of Thursday's noon deadline, but he notes that the Warriors could have more suitors if they choose to wait until the offseason or beyond to trade him, which could drive up the price. Golden State has yet to see Russell play alongside Stephen Curry and/or Klay Thompson for an extended period, and retaining Russell beyond the deadline might allow for a better examination of one or both of those pairings.

[RELATED: Report: Warriors discussed possible D-Lo trade with Knicks]

As a 23-year-old, Russell is averaging 23.8 points and 6.3 assists per game on 43.3 percent shooting from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc -- on 9.8 3-point attempts per contest. Throughout NBA history, only two other guards have averaged at least 23 points and nine 3-point attempts per game while shooting over 37 percent from deep: Curry and Damian Lillard.

Regardless of when the Warriors do trade Russell, you can expect them to get a major haul in return.

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!

Why Monta Ellis' Warriors game-winner vs. Nets is proudest NBA moment


Why Monta Ellis' Warriors game-winner vs. Nets is proudest NBA moment

The 2006-07 NBA season was a special one for Monta Ellis.

He won the league's Most Improved Player award, playing a pivotal role for the "We Believe" Warriors. Golden State won its first playoff series in over a decade, upsetting the defending Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks as a No. 8 seed.

Those Warriors hold a special place in the team's history, and the award was the only one Ellis won in his decade-plus as an NBA cult hero. Ellis told SLAM Magazine he holds another memory near and dear to his heart: A game-winning shot against the then-New Jersey Nets.

Ellis' wide-open 3-pointer sealed the Warriors' 111-109 win over Jason Kidd and the Nets on Jan. 24, 2007, giving him a signature moment and Golden State a much-needed victory in its push to the playoffs.

"The game was tight," Ellis said. "I forgot who shot that ball in the corner, I think it was Vince Carter, and we ended up getting the rebound. Baron got the rebound and we thought Don Nelson was going to call a timeout, but he didn’t. So Baron pushed the ball and I ran the wing and it was, like, a 3-on-2. But he was more to the left side and J-Kidd had to [make the stop], so he had to play between me and Baron.

"He decided to stop Baron and Baron kicked me the ball, and I ended up shooting it and hitting the game-winner. That was the year that I won Most Improved. I would have to say that one right there."

[RELATED: Monta shares great story on BD, his funniest Dubs teammate]

The Warriors finished 42-40 that season, while the ninth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers ended the campaign with a 40-42 record. An Ellis miss combined with another loss along the way, and the "We Believe" Warriors would've never been.

You can probably say the same of any of Golden State's other close calls that year, but none will carry as much meaning to Ellis as his game-winner.

Steph Curry says Riley called him a 'three-star' substitute teacher


Steph Curry says Riley called him a 'three-star' substitute teacher

Steph Curry was the NBA’s first unanimous MVP, but his daughter thinks he’s right around replacement level in the classroom.

The Warriors star told former teammate JaVale McGee in an Instagram Live on the NBA’s account Friday that he is serving as a de facto teacher’s assistant for his daughter Riley’s second-grade class. After her class -- held over Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down schools -- is over, the elder Curry said he gives Riley her assignments.

He hasn’t reached her usual standards.

“She told my mom today, she said I’m a three-star teacher,” Curry told McGee. “I said, ‘Dang. That’s cold. That’s so cold-blooded. I am invested into your future, young lady. This is how you repay me?’ It’s crazy.”

Curry probably hasn’t been doubted this much since high school, when he committed to Davidson College after receiving next to no other Division I scholarship offers. He has ridden a rocket ship ever since, leading his Wildcats on a Cinderella run in March Madness, getting selected No. 7 overall in the 2009 draft, winning three NBA championships and emerging as a global superstar in the meantime.

[RELATED: Tracing birth of Dubs' dynasty back to Game 1 of '15 Finals]

The 32-year-old's accolades haven’t translated to his daughter’s studies, apparently, so Curry will just have to win over another critic.

One in his own household might prove tougher to silence than any other along the way, though.