- D’Angelo Russell and Andrew Wiggins traded places in a big deadline deal between the Timberwolves and Warriors
- Golden State and Minnesota are both over 10 games out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference
- The Warriors (+50000) and Timberwolves (+50000) still have long odds in the West
The NBA trade deadline always delivers, and Thursday was no different. The Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves made one of the biggest deals of the day, and while it didn’t shift the Western Conference odds, it could have a big impact on the future of the West.
NBA Western Conference Odds Post Trade Deadline
|Los Angeles Lakers||+150|
|Los Angeles Clippers||+200|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+4000|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+6600|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+6600|
|San Antonio Spurs||+10000|
|Golden State Warriors||+50000|
Odds taken Feb. 6.
Minnesota acquired D’Angelo Russell, Omari Spellman, and Jacob Evans, and sent Andrew Wiggins, a 2021 first-round pick, and a 2022 second-rounder to Golden State. There are several assets involved, but the headliners of the deal were Russell and Wiggins.
Who Won the Deal?
As far as this deal goes, it was Minnesota who got the most talented player. Andrew Wiggins is a 24-year-old former first-overall pick, but D’Angelo Russell was undoubtedly the most-coveted asset in this trade.
Russell is in the midst of maybe the best statistical year of his short career. The young guard is posting 23.6 points per game, a career-high mark. He’s shooting the best percentage of his career from the three-point line, with a 37.4% clip.
Minnesota desperately needed a point guard, and they’ve gone out and grabbed one of the better players on the trade market. The Timberwolves have been unable to build a sustainable supporting cast around Karl Anthony-Towns for most of his career. This move could change that.
The Timberwolves are currently 14th in the West, so even making the postseason is a long shot. On the schedule, they still have the Lakers twice, Clippers twice, and Celtics twice, among other tough teams. Exactly half of Minnesota’s remaining games are against playoff teams, so for the Timberwolves to gain ground, they’ll have to start pulling off a ton of big upsets. For a team that’s lost 13 straight games, that’s a preposterous ask.
This pairing of Towns and Russell is exciting, but it can’t get this team to the postseason. The rest of the year, instead, will simply be spent building chemistry together, and preparing for an offseason in which this front office hopefully puts strong role players in place.
This move is ultimately about the future, because these are by far the two worst teams in the Western Conference. With the Timberwolves at 15-35 and the Warriors at 12-40, they are 10.5 and 14.5 games out of the #8 seed, respectively.
Golden State has the brighter future of the two. As much potential as Towns and Russell possess, these Warriors are waiting on the return of two future hall-of-famer guards who are still in their prime. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, even without Kevin Durant, will put Golden State right back into the Western Conference Championship picture.
Wiggins could also end up being an important piece for this team. He’s an immensely talented player, but he hasn’t flourished so far in Minnesota. Golden State is a far stronger organization. In an environment like this, Wiggins could finally unlock the potential that laid dormant while with a franchise that lacked any real leadership or direction.
His numbers are exciting as well. This season, Wiggins is posting 22.4 points per game, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. For a player that has been disappointing in his career, the ceiling remains sky high. It will be interesting to watch him adapt to Golden State, especially when Curry and Thompson return.
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