We should have known better.
Despite all signs pointing towards a quiet NBA trade deadline, early Thursday afternoon has been nothing short of a flurry of Woj, Shams and Haynes bombs alike. The first true blockbuster of the day saw the Timberwolves finally get their main — shipping Andrew Wiggins, a protected 2021 first round pick and a 2022 second to Golden State for D’Angelo Russell.
In some corners of NBA Twitter, the deal was panned as one of suspect value for the Warriors, who had leverage given how hotly Minnesota has pursued Russell since free agency.
Some of that criticism has to do with Wiggins being the primary chip coming back to Golden State. Wiggins is enjoying undoubtedly the best season of his career, but in the eyes of many has fallen short of expectations dating back to both his drafting No. 1 overall in 2014 and his signing of a max extension with the Timberwolves in 2017.
Zach LaVine looked at the move a different way:
Wig about to thrive in golden state. That’s a great fit💯— Zach LaVine (@ZachLaVine) February 6, 2020
And perhaps he has a point.
Though Wiggins is a career 44.1% shooter from the field and 33.2% from 3-point range, he’s never played with close to the host of elite playmakers he’ll encounter in Golden State. If the return of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson (as well as whatever they might net from this year’s top draft pick) vaults the Dubs back into contention next season, Wiggins could very well rise to the occasion in a role similar to Harrison Barnes' with the team when their dynasty was born.
From afar, LaVine will be spurring him on. The two spent the first three seasons of their careers alongside each other in Minnesota before LaVine was shipped to Chicago in the Jimmy Butler deal in June 2017.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports and tune-in to watch the NBA Trade Deadline Show on Thursday, February 6 at 1:30 p.m. CT. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Bulls easily on your device.