NBA Rumors: Warriors Reveal Why They Traded D'Angelo Russell For Andrew Wiggins

JB Baruelo

After earning his first All-Star recognition in 2019, D'Angelo Russell found himself being included in a sign-and-trade package that the Brooklyn Nets sent to the Golden State Warriors to acquire Kevin Durant. Though he had the power to control the outcome of the deal, Russell didn't express any opposition to the idea of playing for the Warriors.

During that time, the former No. 2 overall pick believed that joining forces with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green would give him a better chance of winning for his first NBA championship title. Unfortunately, Russell still hadn't finish his first season with the Warriors when they decided to trade him to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Andrew Wiggins.

Why The Warriors Traded D'Angelo Russell For Andrew Wiggins?

A few hours before the 2020 NBA trade deadline, the Warriors sent Russell, together with Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans, to the Timberwolves for Wiggins and two future draft assets. In a recent interview with ClutchPoints, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr revealed one of the main reasons why they decided to swap Russell for Wiggins.

“Honestly, the main reason we brought Wigs here (to the Warriors) was to be a versatile defender because that’s what we missed most on the roster,” Kerr said.


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Andrew Wiggins Fills Void Left By D'Angelo Russell On Warriors' Offense

Though they primarily brought him to Golden State to boost their defense, the Warriors also believed in Wiggins' capability to fill the void that Russell left on the offensive end of the floor. Wiggins may not be an All-Star like Russell, but he's also a reliable scorer and a decent floor-spacer.

“Wigs (Andrew Wiggins) is one of those guys who can fall out of bed and get 18 points just because of his ability to run the floor and get easy buckets and all that stuff,” Kerr said.

D'Angelo Russell Reunited With Karl-Anthony Towns In Minnesota

The Warriors' decision to trade him for Wiggins didn't hurt Russell at all. Though it didn't put him closer to capturing his first Larry O'Brien Trophy, the Warriors-Timberwolves blockbuster trade gave Russell the opportunity to team up with his close pal, Karl-Anthony Towns, in Minnesota.

Even before they were selected as the first and second overall picks in the 2015 NBA Draft, Towns and Russell had been dreaming of playing together in one team. As of now, Towns and Russell are hoping that their pairing in Minnesota would be the key to the end of the Timberwolves' years of title drought.

Who Have Better Chance Of Winning His First NBA Title?

Between the two centerpieces of the 2020 blockbuster trade, Wiggins has in no doubt a better chance of winning his first NBA championship title. Russell's Timberwolves undeniably have one of the most promising young cores in the league, but they are currently not viewed as a legitimate contender in the Western Conference.

Though they missed the playoffs for two consecutive seasons, the Warriors are considered a threat to the Milwaukee Bucks' throne this year. Wiggins and the Warriors are off to a great start in the 2021-22 NBA season, beating powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers in their first two games.