Over the past few years, the Golden State Warriors have been in a state of uncertainty. After their Finals loss in 2019, things kind of collapsed.
That summer, Kevin Durant left for Brooklyn in a sign and trade deal with the Nets and Timberwolves that landed the Warriors star point guard, D'Angelo Russell.
He had some great moments for the team, but his stay didn't last long. After just 33 games with Dub Nation, he was traded to Minnesota in a deal that netted the Warriors Andrew Wiggins.
At the time, it was reported that the Warriors were eager to get rid of Russell and gave up on him just a few months after trading for him.
"The Warriors, as much as anything with this move, gave up on Russell. Seven months after they contorted the entire franchise into a pretzel to get him, five months after he showed up to camp, the Warriors abandoned The Russell Project. They were so eager to get rid of him that they are embracing a player considered to be on one of the worst contracts in the league."
It's been a while since D'Lo was with the ball club, but his name came up in a recent press conference with Warriors coach Steve Kerr. In it, Kerr explained the trade and why he believes it was the best thing the team could have done.
“Well, it was definitely a trade of need for us. We’d lost so much wing depth with Klay’s injury, Kevin Durant’s departure, Shaun Livingston’s retirement, Andre Iguodala’s departure. So we just really needed to sign someone big and Andrew Wiggins played really well for us. And then to gain a really good young talent like Jonathan was a great addition to the team.”
Despite the skills that D'Lo brought to the table, he would have been a poor fit alongside a crowded backcourt with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Gary Payton II. The truth is, he was always a temporary solution for the Warriors and it makes sense that they let him go.
So far, Wiggings has proven to be the right choice. This season, he's averaging 18.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game on 49% shooting.
Once again, the Warriors are back near the top of the standings, and Wiggs will no doubt play a big role in how they finish this inspiring campaign.