In February 2020, the Minnesota Timberwolves traded Andrew Wiggins, a Top-3 protected 2021 first-round pick, and a 2021 second-round to shed a hefty contract and acquire D’Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans, and Omari Spellman. At the time, the sentiment concluded that the Timberwolves had masterfully dumped an overpaid Andrew Wiggins and upgraded with proven veteran D’Lo.
In January 2021, history was rewritten, and NBCSports Bay Area Warriors declared the exchange a fleecing by the Warriors. At the time of the trade, Andrew Wiggins was a high-volume shooter who struggled to score from three-point range, was not a particularly good defender, and was handsomely paid for his underwhelming performance.
So what exactly was the trade?
One Timberwolves trade that we are still talking about
Well, for starters, it was one of the multiple trades that the Minnesota Timberwolves made before the trade deadline that year. And like any multi-step process, you get a pretty bleak picture of focusing upon just one step in that process. That is because it is all taken out of context.
On paper, it looked like this:
Did the Timberwolves pay a premium? If so, why? Well, to understand that, we need to go back to where the Minnesota Timberwolves were at the time of the trade. Well, trades, to be more accurate.
Let’s revisit the scenario once more, shall we? At the time of the trade, a less costly D’Angelo Russell was averaging a career-high 23.6 points along with 6.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds. The more costly Andrew Wiggins, who never fulfilled the hopes of being selected first in the 2014 NBA Draft, was averaging 22.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists.