Timberwolves trade Andrew Wiggins, draft picks to Warriors for D'Angelo Russell, 2 other players

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 05: D'Angelo Russell #0 of the Golden State Warriors in action against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on February 05, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images / Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors have agreed to trade D’Angelo Russell to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Andrew Wiggins in a blockbuster deal. 

The trade also includes the Timberwolves’ 2021 protected first-round draft pick and a 2021 second-round pick in exchange for the Warriors sending Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman to Minnesota. 

Russell is in his fifth NBA season, and thus far, is having the best statistical year of his career. He had been averaging 23.6 points per game while shooting 43 percent from the field, including 37.4 percent from the perimeter. That’s been without stars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, who have each been out injured.

The Wolves desperately tried to land Russell during NBA free agency last off-season, as he’s close friends with Karl-Anthony Towns. Gersson Rosas thought he was close to a deal with the star guard before he signed with the Warriors. The Wolves now apparently have their point guard to pair with their franchise player.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Russell is in the first season of a four-year, $117 million contract. He’s making $27.2 million this season.

The Wolves are parting ways with Andrew Wiggins after an up and down five-plus seasons in Minnesota. He was the No. 1 overall pick in 2014 and acquired via a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wiggins is arguably in the best season of his career, averaging 22.4 points per game while shooting 44 percent from the field in 42 games this season. Wiggins is in the second season of a five-year, $147 million max contract and is making $27.5 million this season.

Rosas was adamant after being hired in the off-season as the Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations that he wants to build a championship culture around Towns. Things appear to be trending that way, though it will take time.

Spellman is averaging 7.6 points and 4.5 rebounds in 49 games this season, and gives the Wolves another option at power forward. Evans, a shooting guard, is averaging 4.7 points in 27 games and shooting 33.8 percent from the field, including 34 percent from the perimeter.

Later Thursday, ESPN reported another deal that sends Gorgui Dieng to Memphis in exchange for James Johnson. In his 7th NBA season, Dieng was averaging 7.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He added the three-point shot to his game, averaging 38.3 percent from the perimeter. Dieng is in the third season of a four-year, $62.8 million deal and is making $16.2 million this season.

In Johnson, the Wolves are getting a 32-year-old veteran in his 11th NBA season. He’s averaging 5.7 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in 18 games this season.

The NBA trade deadline is 2 p.m. Thursday. The Timberwolves cancelled their 4 p.m. practice and media availability Thursday after the flurry of news. 

Nine Timberwolves from the team's opening day roster have now been traded. Only Towns and Josh Okogie remain on the roster from when Rosas was hired.

The Wolves were in major need of a shakeup, having fallen to 15-35 on the season and out of the Western Conference playoff picture. Wednesday night’s loss to Atlanta marked their 13th straight, and 17th straight with Towns on the floor. The Wolves haven't won a game with Towns playing since before Thanksgiving.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.