The Minnesota Timberwolves were one of the top suitors of D’Angelo Russell when he became an unrestricted free agent last summer. Unfortunately, despite his strong relationship with the face of the franchise, Karl-Anthony Towns, Russell ended up snubbing the Timberwolves and signed with the Golden State Warriors. In an interview with Chris Hine of the Minneapolis StarTribune, Russell discussed his decision to choose the Warriors over the Timberwolves in free agency.
Before agreeing to a sign-and-trade deal that sent Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets, Russell admitted that he strongly considered the Timberwolves as his next landing spot. However, he had a change of heart after he was presented the opportunity to play in Golden State.
“I thought the opportunity here was amazing,” Russell said. “It was definitely something I was considering very strongly. But then when this opportunity came, the weather is way better, so that helped me.”
Russell revealed that the weather played a “major part” in his decision to pick the Warriors over the Timberwolves in free agency.
“I did my first winter in New York and that was tough,” Russell said. “So to get the opportunity to go somewhere where it’s warm again, I think that played a major part in my plan.”
However, though their weather put them at a great disadvantage in their pursuit of Russell, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Timberwolves are already giving up with their plan to pair him with Towns. Russell may be under contract with the Warriors until the 2022-23 NBA season, but most people don’t see him staying long-term in Golden State.
Russell may be able to fill the hole Durant left on the offensive end of the floor, but with the emergence of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the Warriors’ backcourt, he’s clearly an odd fit on their roster.
As of now, the Warriors continue to insist that they see Russell as part of their long-term future. However, if they continue to struggle this season and find themselves heading into the lottery, it would not be a surprise if the Warriors consider making Russell available on the trade market before the February trade deadline. Once he’s officially on the trading block, the Timberwolves would undeniably do everything they could to bring Russell to Minnesota.
The Timberwolves currently have a plethora of trade assets that could convince the Warriors to make a deal. According to the previous The Inquisitr article, the Timberwolves’ “best offer” for Russell is a trade package that includes Jeff Teague’s expiring contract, Robert Covington, and two future first-round picks.