Trade speculation seemed to surround D'Angelo Russell almost immediately after the Warriors acquired the point guard in a sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets last summer, even though Golden State general manager Bob Myers insisted the team "didn't sign him with the intention of just trading him."
The Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly were never buying it.
The T-Wolves' trade for Russell was a result of Minnesota playing the very long game, according to The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski.
"The Warriors turned back the Wolves multiple times earlier in the season before they finally reached an agreement just before the deadline in February to send to Minnesota the point guard the Wolves always wanted," Krawczynski wrote Tuesday.
Gersson Rosas, Minnesota's president of basketball operations, told Krawczynski last year after the T-Wolves failed to sign Russell in free agency that "you're going to get a lot of no's before you get the yes." The franchise took that to heart with Russell and the Warriors, finally getting "the yes" in February on a deal that sent Andrew Wiggins, a protected 2021 first-round draft pick and a second-round selection next year.
The Warriors and T-Wolves seem happy with the swap. Wiggins filled Golden State's hole on the wing, giving peace of mind to coach Steve Kerr with Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala long gone. Russell, meanwhile, represented Minnesota at last month's NBA draft lottery, in which the T-Wolves grabbed the No. 1 pick.
In the event Myers' comments last summer were posturing, Rosas and Co. saw right through it. If the Warriors GM meant it at the time, then perhaps the T-Wolves' persistence wore him down.
As the paraphrased saying goes: If at first you don't get the yes (in a trade), try, try until you're done getting no's. Well, that's at least how Rosas probably will remember it.