2020 NBA Trade Deadline: D’Angelo Russell Traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves

For the 2nd year in a row, a major deal has gone down on the trade deadline. Former All-Star Guard D’Angelo Russell has been traded from the Golden State Warriors to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The trade package goes as such:

TWolves Get
warriors get
D’Angelo Russell
Omari Spellman
Jacob Evans
Andrew Wiggins
2021 First Rounder*
2021 2nd Rounder

*becomes unprotected 2022 if the pick falls within top 3

Obviously, this will be the biggest deal we see this trade deadline, so let us dive into the impact that this deal has with both teams, as well as how it changes the landscape of the future NBA.

Minnesota Timberwolves

It is very rare we see an extremely one-sided trade, but this deal is exactly that. Let’s look at what Minnesota last in this deal. It is simply just Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins has played his entire career in Minnesota and simply hasn’t progressed. Wiggins peaked in in 2016, where he averaged a career-high 23.6 ppg on 45% shooting. Unfortunately, Wiggins numbers declined the last 3 years, including this season where he is averaging 22.4 ppg on 42% shooting. If Wiggins remained with the T-Wolves for the entirety of the season, he would have only averaged 20+ PPG two times in his 6-year career with the team. We also can’t forget that Wiggins is an atrocious defender; in fact, Wiggins is one of the few players averaging 20+ PPG this season with a negative defensive box plus-minus. Evidently, Wiggins was not playing up to his contract, and may never do that.

The Timberwolves also sent out two picks, one being a top 3 protected first-round pick, and the other being a 2nd round pick. With Minnesota adding Spellman, Evans, and Russell you have to expect that they will succeed their pace for wins this year. The pick they evidently shipped out will become either a late teens picks or possibly a pick in the early 20s. They essentially dealt an inefficient wing scorer and a useless pick for an All-Star level Guard.

Adding Russell gives Minnesottas star center Karl Anthony-Towns a solidified running mate for years to come. Russell has improved every season he has been in the league, improving his PPG and FG% every year he has been in the NBA. This season Russel is averaging 23.6 PPG on 44% shooting. Adding a solidified All-Star level talent to go with the best big man in the NBA may lead to a potential playoff run in the coming weeks.

We also can’t forget that Minnesota still received Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans. Spellman is an absolute steal. He is a big-bodied stretch 4 who can snag rebounds like crazy, and he is making a shade over 2 million dollars for the next 2 seasons. You don’t see a 22-year-old big man shooting 40% from 3 get traded for nothing. With Minnesota shipping out Shabaz Napier in the Robert Covington trade, they needed a backup PG, and Jacob Evans is just that. Though Evans is shooting an atrocious 37% from the field, he still has the potential to grow into a decent scorer. Evans at just 22 could really grow into one of the leagues better backup PGs with Russels Guidance.

The Golden State Warriors

At first, I hated this deal for Golden State. Not only did they give up their best player in D’angelo Russell, but they also dealt Spellman and Evans, two really solid young pieces who could have contributed for years. But, we need to realize that the Golden State front office if fixating on one idea, Giannis Antetokounmpo. Golden State will likely hold onto Wiggins next season but in 2021 off-season, I expect him to get dealt. The Warriors will have 4 players under contract that off-season, Wiggins, Curry, Thompson, and Draymond. Moving Wiggins Contract gives them just enough cap space to offer Giannis the max.

The most likely scenario is Wiggins gets packaged on draft night with their pick and the Timberwolves pick they acquired. Hell, maybe Wiggins even gets moved this off-season. All I know is the game plan in Golden State is Giannis.

Golden State giving up Spellman and Evans also puts them 3 million dollars above the luxury tax, something they have been trying to do all season. By doing this deal they avoid a 25 million dollar cap penalty.

All in all the Warriors are bolstering for a big move in the next two off-seasons. They clearly want to tank and acquire assets, and they are doing just that. The Warriors are going to be back ladies and gentleman, strap in. This move isn’t as bad as we all originally thought.



Biggest 2020 All-Star Snubs

The All-Star rosters were announced a couple days ago, and as always there is controversy surrounding the players that did or didn’t make the cut. Every year there are some players that don’t make the roster of 24 players. It’s obviously hard to get everyone on the roster, as there are more than enough players that are deserving of spots. In my opinion, some of the guys that didn’t make it are pretty ridiculous. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest All-Star snubs for 2020.

Karl-Anthony Towns – Minnesota Timberwolves

Karl Towns not making the All-Star game was the biggest surprise for me right off the bat. In my opinion he is the second best center in the league (behind Joel Embiid). His averages are close to 27 points and 11 rebounds a game; some very dominant numbers for a player not selected to be an all star. Not to mention his PER rating is 27.3, which is 5th in the NBA. Maybe winning has a factor, Nikola Jokic and Rudy Gobert are both on better teams, but I think Towns is just too good to be left off the All-Star roster.

Bradley Beal – Washington Wizards

This is another situation where Bradley Beal is on a bad team, but he is still killing it this year. I don’t know if somebody has averaged 29.2 points per game and not been an All-Star. It’s not really his fault that he has no help, and Trae Young is an All-Star starter on a very bad team. Beal is in a similar situation but he gets no recognition for his individual talent. Even though Kyle Lowry has been a big piece to the Raptors, he doesn’t deserve an All-Star spot over someone at the level of Bradley Beal.

Paul George – Los Angeles Clippers

The west is loaded with talent, and it’s hard to acknowledge everyone that deserves All-Star honors, and one of the people that deserves it is Paul George. He’s had a down year from last year, but is still above the level he was at when he was named an All-Star for the prior three seasons. George is still one of the best two-way wings in the league. George is averaging 22.7 points, and 6.1 rebounds per game while shooting close to 40% from three. He hasn’t let up defensively either as he’s still great on that side of the ball. Playing with Kawhi forces him to take a bit of a backseat, but he’s great enough to where he deserves All-Star recognition.

Devin Booker – Phoenix Suns

To the NBA world Devin Booker was the most surprising snub. His team is also not performing well as the Suns are 12th seed in the West. His stats of 26.8 points, 6.3 assists per game, as well as 5.2 win shares reflect All-Star level talent. He could have gotten hurt in Coach voting because he has been struggling for years to lead the Suns to any success, but that doesn’t take away from his incredible talent. There’s an exclusive amount of spots in this game, and everyone can’t get the credit they deserve. It’s unfortunate for Booker, and all the others that aren’t in the All-Star game when they’re playing suggests otherwise.

  • Kevin Barnett

Instagram @nolimit_kb

The Careers of #1 Draft Picks From the 2010’s

The first pick is always the best player, right? Sometimes that’s not necessarily how it goes. Sometimes the first pick performs and has a great career, but sometimes it doesn’t go as expected. We take a look here at the first overall picks from the past decade, and how their careers are going. 

2010 – John Wall, Kentucky (Drafted by Washington Wizards)

John Wall is in a bit of a rough patch right now, having an injury-plagued last couple of seasons. However, in the grand scheme of things he has had a great career. The 5-time all-star has averaged 19 points and 9.2 assists per game, all in 9 seasons with the Washington Wizards. Definitely not a bad pick here. Not only did it make sense at the time, but Wall has been a star and leader for the Wizards

2011 – Kyrie Irving, Duke (Drafted by Cleveland Cavaliers)

It was pretty clear Kyrie would be the first pick in 2011, and he has lived up to the expectations. He is a 6-time all-star as well as an NBA Champion, which he won in 2016. Along with being named All-NBA twice and scoring 22.4 points per game throughout his career, Kyrie has grown over his time in the NBA to one of the best point guards in the league. At only 27 years old, we could see a lot more of his prime.

2012 – Anthony Davis, Kentucky (Drafted by New Orleans Hornets)

Does it get more obvious than this pick? AD has always been a monster, and he took his dominance straight from college to the NBA. In his 8th season now, Davis is already an 8-time all-star and has been named to the  All-NBA and All-Defensive teams 3 times each. He has established himself as the best big man, and a top player in the NBA. When the Pelicans were the Hornets they got this one right, and now the Lakers are loving A.D. on their team.

2013 – Anthony Bennett, UNLV (Drafted by Cleveland Cavaliers)

We all knew we’d get here at some point. Anthony Bennet is looked at as one of the biggest busts ever in the NBA. He played 4 seasons with 4 different teams, only averaging 12.6 minutes per game for his career. It was a shock when he was drafted, so maybe some predicted him under performing, but for a first overall pick, it’s hard to get worse than Bennett

2014 – Andrew Wiggins, Kansas (Drafted by Cleveland Cavaliers)

Wigs killed it at Kansas, and the Cavs traded him to the Timberwolves for Kevin Love right away. He’s been a slight disappointment and still hasn’t been an all-star now in his 6th season, but this year has been his most promising, so he could be still on the rise. Turning 25 next month, Wiggins doesn’t have much more time to make a push for stardom, we’ll see if he can turn into the elite player we expected.

2015 – Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky (Drafted by Minnesota Timberwolves)

I’ve been a big Karl Towns fan since his college dominance (which ended sadly for Big Blue Nation), but regardless of that, the Wolves picked him over Jahlil Okafor and it has clearly been the right choice. In his 5th season, he will most likely be named an all-star for the third time very shortly. Career averages of 22.6 points and 11.8 rebounds nightly are nothing to overlook, especially for a player that is only 24 years old. It will be cool to see if Towns can get even better, and maybe team up with some stars to contend for championships.

2016 – Ben Simmons, LSU (Drafted by Philadelphia 76ers)

Ben Simmons’ true rookie season was nonexistent due to a foot injury, he came back the year after and won Rookie of the Year for the 2017-2018 season. The phenom was an all-star for the first time last season, and his size and athleticism help him be great defensively and as a playmaker. If he develops a jumper, Simmons could be even more dangerous than he already is, which is scary for opposing teams to think about.

2017 – Markelle Fultz, Washington (Drafted by Philadelphia 76ers)

Another player’s development that was stunted. Injuries caused Fultz to have to modify his jump shot and brought his confidence down. He played 33 games total in his first two seasons in Philadelphia. After being traded to the Magic, Markelle is gradually getting more comfortable in the NBA, and he’s shown flashes that give hope that his career is not close to over.

2018 – Deandre Ayton, Arizona (Drafted by Phoenix Suns)

Ayton getting suspended for the first 25 games this season has hurt his development and has hurt the growth of the young Suns. Despite the stardom of fellow rookies Luka Doncic and Trae Young, Ayton quietly had a great rookie year. 16.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game isn’t star level, but it certainly isn’t bad. Being so young, it will be interesting to see if he grows into a dominant big man, or if he just stays at this level.

2019 – Zion Williamson, Duke (Drafted by New Orleans Pelicans)

We’ve only seen a few games of Zion, but he’s been impressive so far. Based on the small glimpse of the NBA and college stardom, a healthy Zion could be a superstar one day. If he’s able to stay on the court that will be huge for the Pelicans. We don’t want Zion to be another Greg Oden situation, so talented but hurt all the time. We’re all excited to see Zion lift off, and we could be witnessing the start of a great career.

  • Kevin Barnett

Instagram @nolimit_kb

Are we Finally Seeing Andrew Wiggins’ Rise to Stardom

Andrew Wiggins is starting to show some good signs. The number 1 pick from 2014 by the Cleveland Cavaliers was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves that summer for Kevin Love. In his first five seasons in the league, Wiggins didn’t really play at the level he was expected to. As a highly regarded prospect during his lone colegiate season at Kansas he showed signs that he could become a potential superstar, and Timberwolves fans have not been satisfied due to Wiggins not even being named an all-star yet, and not being very close to it. A lot of people gave up hope in Wiggins, expecting him to never pan out and be average forever. Aside from the majority, the Timberwolves front office maintained a optomistic belief.

The Wolves gave Andrew a five year contract extension worth over $147 million . The NBA world was on the fence with this signing. Wiggins showed he could be a solid player, but he hadn’t really proved he deserved max money. The Timberwolves hoped that they made the right decision, and his start to this season says they have. In his first 11 games, Wigs is putting up 25.9 points, and just over 5 rebounds per game. He’s been shooting more effeciently than ever too, making .473% of his shots from the field.

This is a great sign for the Timberwolves, as Wiggins could potentially break out of his shell this season and make his way closer to the stardom we all expected. Maybe he just needed time. Not everyone gets in to the league and is a star right away. It’s been common recently, (thanks Luka) but some people need a few years to adjust to the NBA, and maybe Wiggins is one of those people. The Wolves are off to a solid 7-4 start this season. With Karl-Anthony Towns already emerged as one of the best centers in the league, could Wiggins jump to stardom and create the dynamic duo we expected to form a couple years ago. He’s definitely in all-star conversations if this level of play keeps up, and maybe we are seeing Andrew Wiggins get closer and closer to his star potential.