After almost a year of rumors and speculation, the Minnesota Timberwolves finally landed their point guard of the future in D’Angelo Russell.
Just when we thought we were out, the Minnesota Timberwolves pull us right back in.
The Timberwolves had just lost their twelfth straight game, traded away Karl-Anthony Towns‘ best friend on the team in Robert Covington, and KAT had some choice words for the organization after losing to the Hawks at home.
That all came after Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Wolves were unwilling to meet Golden State’s asking price for D’Angelo Russell after pursuing him since the beginning of last offseason.
All looked lost.
Then, Adrian Wojnarowski dropped the Woj bomb that Wolves fans have been waiting for when he reported that Minnesota had finally struck a deal with the Warriors.
Here’s what we know about the deal so far:
- Andrew Wiggins
- 2021 top-three protected first-round pick
- 2022 second-round pick
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This is an amazing piece of work by Gersson Rosas for so many reasons.
First of all, the Wolves got the best player in the trade in D’Angelo Russell.
Secondly, they were unable to unload the Andrew Wiggins contract (five years, $147.7 million) that many thought they would be saddled with until the summer of 2023 when he was set to be an unrestricted free agent.
On top of that, the Wolves were able to put some sort of protection on the 2021 first-round pick. Minnesota should be good enough next year that the pick falls somewhere in the middle of the first round and will convey to Golden State, but if disaster strikes and the Wolves go in the tank next season, or they get extremely lucky in the lottery, they could potentially hold on to that selection.
The fact that Rosas didn’t have to give up multiple first-rounders to get this deal done is impressive. Even if they end up giving up that pick to Golden State, they still have Brooklyn’s 2020 first-rounder from the Robert Covington trade which should fall just outside of the lottery.
Minnesota was also able to acquire two potential rotational pieces in Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans.
Spellman is a relatively skilled big man who can space the floor as he’s hit 36.6% from three on 2.5 attempts per game during his two-year career. He might not play very much in Minnesota, but he provides some additional big man depth after the Wolves traded away Jordan Bell and Noah Vonleh in the Robert Covington deal.
Jacob Evans is another intriguing wing that Minnesota’s coaching staff can hopefully develop into a rotation player.
He’s got some physical tools to become a solid defender, but his offensive game needs a lot of work. Even if Evans never plays a minute for the Wolves, he’s a solid throw-in piece of this deal.
The pick-and-roll combination of D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns will be absolutely lethal right away as each of them can score in so many different ways.
Russell’s high-volume three-point shooting (9.7 attempts per game this season) will be incredibly valuable on a Timberwolves team that is currently third in three-point attempt rate but dead last in three-point percentage.
Having one of Karl-Anthony Towns’ best friends on the team should make the superstar big man incredibly happy after he had vented his frustrations publicly following the Wolves’ loss to the Hawks on Wednesday night.
With Russell under contract through the 2022-23 season and Towns through 2023-24, Rosas and Ryan Saunders have their dynamic duo locked in for years to come. Now they just need to work on building a solid roster around them and accentuating each of their strengths within their system.
Many Minnesota Timberwolves fans had given up hope on acquiring D’Angelo Russell, but the new president of basketball operations was able to come up with an incredible deal at the last minute to breathe life into this franchise once again.