On the most exciting day of the NBA regular season, many teams made some questionable moves and future impacting trades.
In the biggest trade of the day, the Golden State Warriors traded guard D’Angelo Russell to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins, a 2021 protected first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick. The Wolves have long been pursuing Russell, who is averaging 23.6 points and 6.2 assists per game this season at only 23 years old for the 12-40 Warriors. Wiggins, after spending the past couple years as a number one overall draft pick disappointment, is averaging 22.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for the 15-35 Wolves.
With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson healthy next season, the Warriors can make a run. In a championship locker room and as the third option, Wiggins can blossom alongside the two perimeter stars. The Wolves don’t have the supporting cast around Karl-Anthony Towns and Russell to make much of a difference, but with the two being friends and Russell being under contract for the next four years, the Wolves are in prime position to keep Towns happy and remain relevant.
Wiggins has the worst defensive rating of all-time of players with at least 15,000 minutes of NBA action under their belt. Being on the same court with Thompson and Draymond Green could do wonders for him.
The other big trade of the day was the Detroit Pistons trading Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Brandon Knight, John Henson and a 2023 second-round pick. Drummond, a former All-Star, is averaging 17.8 points, 2.0 steals, 1.7 blocks and a league leading 15.8 rebounds per game. He has two years left on a five-year, $127 million contract that he signed with the Pistons in 2016.
The Cavaliers decided to keep both Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. Rumors about a Love trade have been in the air for years now, while Thompson was linked to many buyout allegations. Maybe the Cavaliers front office saw the new Houston Rockets approach of playing ultimate smallball and decided to go the complete opposite direction.
The last impact trade was the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks and Washington Wizards completing a three-team trade that saw Marcus Morris and Isaiah Thomas on the Clippers, Maurice Harkless, a 2020 first-round pick, a 2021 first-round swap and a 2021 second-round pick to the Knicks, and Jerome Robinson to the Wizards. Thomas was released by the Clippers shortly after.