Minnesota Timberwolves: Looking back at the D’Angelo Russell trade

The Minnesota Timberwolves made the trade to send Andrew Wiggins and a first-round draft pick to the Golden State Warriors before the 2020 trade deadline in order to acquire All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell.

Since then, the Timberwolves have had about as poor luck as it gets. Minnesota has suffered through injury issues to their three best players this season, including Russell.

But the Timberwolves still have been unable to get a grasp on just how good of a pairing he and Karl-Anthony Towns can be – and the ceiling of those two probably won’t be known until next season.

That said, Minnesota’s draft pick this season is top-3 protected (meaning the Timberwolves retain the draft pick if it lands among the top-3 following the lottery). Golden State, however, will get the pick if it lands between 4-14.

The Timberwolves have been bad this year – among the worst teams in the NBA. For them to not have a pick would be downright awful – especially in a season as unlucky as they just had. But that is also the risk they took in trading a future pick for a player like D’Angelo Russell.

It will be several years before it is known who won the D’Angelo Russell-Andrew Wiggins trade – but as of right now – depending on how the lottery balls fall – things are not looking very promising for Gersson Rosas’s most consequential move as general manager.

Looking into the immediate future, however, Russell is likely going to be the second option in Minnesota next year. As of late, he has been coming off of the bench as he recovers from an injury sustained earlier in the season.

The Timberwolves have really missed having a lead-guard with the scoring prowess that Russell brings, and his energy next season as starting point guard should be something Chris Finch is able to take advantage of.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are, once again, looking at another long offseason following an underwhelming year. With that said, the team is going to improve naturally due to player development and getting Beasley and Russell back fully healthy. Additionally, if the draft lottery goes their way, the D’Angelo Russell trade could look significantly more beneficial.