Playing the End Game
At the time, Andrew Wiggins had just inked a five-year / $147,710,050 contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves on October 11, 2017. Wiggins was in the second year of his contract extension in which he averaged $29.5 million. Meanwhile, D’Angelo Russell was playing in the second year of a four-year / $117,325,500 contract with the Brooklyn Nets, in which he averaged $29.3 million.
At the time, the deal was considered a win-win. Wiggins was highly paid but not delivering for the Timberwolves. Wiggins needed a change of scenery and a fresh start. Russell needed a chance to grow into a larger role than one he had with the Golden State Warriors.
Now, more than 18 months later, we’re back at it again, this time thanks to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney revisiting the trade with an ‘anonymous’ NBA coach. This time the colorful descriptive terminology is ‘highway robbery.’ But this is a story that is quite honestly over two and a half years old. To place this all into perspective, the trade itself happened before COVID-19 ever swept across the nation, and the world.
The story has immortality
This narrative has more legs than the Philadelphia Eagles fans snowballing Santa Claus. I mean, 30 months after the fact, and suddenly that tired old trade bursts back into NBA headlines?
Can we give it a rest?
This repetitive return to a 30-month-old trade is a bit boorish. What the detractors insist upon is one trade. But let’s revisit the strategy of the move because it was one trade in a series of trades that would export multiple players, and import multiple players.