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League sources have confirmed that, though there are a few players the Warriors like in the 2020 draft, they don’t consider June’s draft deep and would prefer to have multiple picks in 2021. Though talks seem to have stalled between the Warriors and the Timberwolves, conversations could start again should Minnesota make their unprotected 2021 first-round pick available.
Going forward, the Warriors ideally would continue to play Klay Thompson at shooting guard and add a starting-level player capable of taking over minutes at small forward and able to play some power forward. While Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins fits the description physically, he isn’t enough to get a deal done. Because his salary matches Russell’s, Wiggins would have to be involved in a deal with Minnesota.
Shams Charania: Golden State is moving on from D’Angelo Russell conversations with Minnesota at this juncture, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. Warriors have been clear with Minnesota on price point — and Timberwolves, to this point, are not willing to meet it.
Adrian Wojnarowski Golden State, Minnesota traded deal concepts today and tonight — but a significant gulf remains. Warriors are investigating deals that shed salary and lower tax bill — as well as bring back some draft value. Holding onto D’Angelo Russell thru deadline has always been an option.
If D’Angelo Russell ends up in Minnesota before Thursday’s trade deadline, Andrew Wiggins will be heading to the Warriors. Multiple league sources say Wiggins is involved in every iteration of a deal being discussed between the two teams. Wiggins has the best contract on the Wolves to match salaries with Russell, and his career could be re-energized in Golden State.
There’s a hold-up: Minnesota isn’t offering enough draft compensation. As it stands, the Warriors have been offered Minnesota’s 2020 first-round pick and Brooklyn’s 2020 first-round pick, which would be sent via Atlanta as part of what is effectively a four-team trade with the Hawks and Rockets. But the Warriors want future firsts instead of picks in 2020—most importantly, they want an unprotected first-round pick in 2021, which will have a much stronger draft class than the one coming this June.
Golden State is at least listening to trade pitches for the former Nets All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell sooner than expected, with Minnesota pushing relentlessly for him despite the Timberwolves’ limited cache of assets.
The Timberwolves, Rockets and Hawks possess the assets to fulfill some of each team’s goals: forward Robert Covington to Houston, center Clint Capela to the Hawks and potentially two first-round picks and an expiring contract to Minnesota, league sources said.
For Minnesota, those potential draft assets could be useful in talks with Golden State on a Russell trade, or elsewhere in deals at the trade deadline or in this offseason. The Timberwolves have been engaged with Golden State in talks on a package that includes Russell in recent weeks, league sources said.
Trade conversations between the Warriors and Timberwolves have reached an impasse, according to league sources. Minnesota has long been interested in acquiring point guard D’Angelo Russell, and it recently offered Golden State a package for Russell that included shooting guard Andrew Wiggins. But to seriously consider dealing Russell to the Timberwolves, Golden State would need a compelling haul of draft picks, per league sources.
Minnesota has been unwilling to include its 2020 first-round pick, which, given that the Timberwolves own the NBA’s fifth-worst record at 15-33, will likely land in the top-10. To contemplate shipping Russell to Minnesota, the Warriors would need that pick included. And if the Timberwolves did add it to their package, Golden State still wouldn’t necessarily be sold on trading Russell before the deadline. Though Wiggins has eased concerns this season about his ability to play in a team concept, the Warriors aren’t convinced that he could be a key cog on a title contender. Golden State also isn’t high on the pool of prospects expected to be available early in June’s draft, and it worries that top-10 picks this year won’t have the trade value they normally bring.
With the deadline looming on Thursday, the Warriors and Timberwolves remain engaged in trade conversations centered around D’Angelo Russell, league sources told The Athletic. There remain obstacles to overcome, but if the teams were to pull off a deal, it could be the closest thing to the kind of blockbuster that often highlights the frantic final days before the deadline.
So far in the Warriors-Timberwolves talks, Golden State would only consider a deal that has significant draft pick compensation as part of any Minnesota package, according to league sources. As a team currently in a rebuild, the Timberwolves are reluctant to sacrifice too much of their own draft capital in deals, including one for Russell.
The deal moves the Wolves $2M further away from the tax line, but they were $7.9M below that line already – it’s hard to construct a trade where that ends up mattering. Which is where we get to the more specific opportunity cost involving Russell. If anything, Minnesota reduced its flexibility in this regard. Teague’s $19M contract could be aggregated with others as a salary match, which potentially matters quite a bit if there happens to be a certain player who makes $27.5M that you want to acquire. However, Crabbe’s $18.5M cannot be aggregated. A deal of Teague and Covington for Russell and Kevon Looney, for instance, seemed highly plausible (with draft picks thrown in). That is no longer on the table; now the only other contract they could pair with Covington’s in such a trade is the much less desirable one of Gorgui Dieng.
New team president Gersson Rosas and the rest of his front office have been actively pursuing deals on a number of fronts to try to remake the roster to better fit their vision for the team moving forward, league sources told The Athletic. That includes intensifying their pursuit of Golden State Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell. Discussions have yielded no traction to this point, league sources said. So far, Golden State has been inclined to keep Russell.
The Warriors, league sources said, have to this point not been inclined to move Russell, who is filling in as the primary scorer while Steph Curry and Klay Thompson recover from injuries. If they waited until this summer, the team will no longer be hard-capped and could look to package him in a deal for a player who won’t be buried on the bench behind the two greatest shooters in league history.
Marc Stein: D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns were huddling as recently as yesterday, league sources, while the Wolves have been canvassing the league to make the trades they need to make that can seal the former Nets All-Star as the new point guard in Minnesota
The Nets could renounce Russell and allow him to become an unrestricted free agent, but first could work with his agents at CAA — Austin Brown and Aaron Mintz — on sign-and-trade scenarios with teams without the requisite salary cap space to sign Russell, sources said. One team interested in finding a way to acquire Russell either via free agency or sign-and-trade: The Minnesota Timberwolves.
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May 8, 2021 | 4:25 am EDT Update
J. Michael: Just talked with a 4th league source on this w/direct knowledge: This is the first time TJ Warren has been featured as a main option on a team, will be paid like it, likes the smaller market and the plans for him regardless of the coach. He doesn’t want to go anywhere
During an appearance on ESPN’s NBA Countdown ahead of the Bulls hosting the Boston Celtics, Wojnarowski suggested Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans and Dennis Schroder of the Los Angeles Lakers as two potential targets. “Point guard is going to be at a premium for them,” Wojarnowski said.
Dane Moore: Karl-Anthony Towns was asked postgame about his exchange with Jimmy Butler, and Anthony Edwards stepped in to take the answer “Man, they grown men, dog. They just be talkin, havin a regular conversation, if you ask me… It’s no competition if we not talkin shit to each other.” pic.twitter.com/gDEP0hjbVZ
Chris Hine: Ant refuted my question earlier when I said the Wolves were getting a little emotional in the 3rd Q. @JaceFrederick followed up with “Who was getting emotional then, Ant?” Ant: “The zebras.”