Bob Myers reveals biggest Andrew Wiggins-D’Angelo Russell trade sticking point

As the trade continues, it looks like the Warriors got the best of the Minnesota Timberwolves in their deal with Andrew Wiggins in the 2019-20 deadline.

On February 7, 2020, Golden State sent goalkeeper D’Angelo Russell along with two bench players, Jacob Evans III and Amari Spellman, to Minnesota in exchange for the Wiggins as well as a first- and second-round pick in the 2021 NBA draft.

It was not an easy deal to complete.

“To be completely transparent, there have been a lot of difficult aspects,” said Bob Myers, the Warriors’ chief of basketball operations, in an interview with Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on Thursday. “A lot of people were wary of this trade.”

Wiggins, who was picked #1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers and then traded with Timberwolves after the draft in 2014, was never seen as a bust but was seen as an overpayment after signing a five-year maximum deal with Timberwolves before 2018 – 19 campaign.

The hardest part in ending the trade was agreeing to choose protection for the position of first wolves.

“That was the biggest sticking point,” Myers told Kawakami. “It wasn’t resolved until the morning of the deadline. Of course their General Manager Gerson Rosas does his job, pushing it as far as he can. I try to limit it as much as I can. That usually comes down to the last minute. But [the pick protection] It got around it, whether it was four, three, two or whatever, and we finally got around to what we agreed on (the top three are protected). The deal is done. “

Minnesota landed seventh in the 2021 draft lottery. Since he was outside the top three, Timberwolves handed the selection to Golden State, which he used to pick Jonathan Kuminga.

Kuminga now serves as a member of the Warriors’ core lineup as Draymond Green works his way back from injuries.

In the middle of his eighth season in the NBA, it’s fair to say that Wiggins plays the best basketball of his career.

In 40 games for the Warriors this season, Wiggins averaged 18.5 points and 4.2 rebounds in 31.2 minutes. These aren’t the personal best in either category, but the former KS star performs more efficiently than in years past with career scores in the field goal percentage (49.1 percent) and 3-point percentage (42.3 percent).

He’s rewriting his reputation on the ground with Golden State.

“I think we got the best version of it,” Myers told Kawakami. It is a good example of how things can evolve and change. Opinions can change based on how a player performs, based on their suitability, based on the system they are working on. Andrew is a really good success story for us, but it’s clear that any player in the league is put in the right scene and the right position.”

RELATED: Clay, Wiggins’ Improved Chemistry Give Warriors New Trio

In the latest NBA All-Star fan voting results released Thursday, Wiggins ranked third among the Western Front’s players with nearly 2.7 million votes. Only LeBron James and Nikola Jokic got more on the front court.

“If he did the All-Star Game — which I think he has a good chance of doing — what a shift in the way he looks at him in the league,” Myers said. “…I wish that would happen to him.”

So do the warriors.

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