ESPN: Wolves' Rosas Was 'Incensed' by Warriors' Demands in Andrew Wiggins Trade Talks

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 7, 2022

Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins dunks against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half in Game 5 of the NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference finals in San Francisco, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The deal that brought Andrew Wiggins to the Golden State Warriors reportedly almost fell apart in the days leading up to the 2020 NBA trade deadline.

ESPN's Zach Lowe reported Tuesday former Minnesota Timberwolves executive Gersson Rosas became "incensed by what he viewed as overaggressive demands" from the Warriors, which included four draft picks, and "briefly cut off talks."

Golden State eventually reduced its demand over the number of picks, but disagreement remained over the protections on the selections as deadline day arrived, per Lowe.

"I went to bed thinking we were not going to get a deal done," Warriors general manager Bob Myers said. "Deals die over picks all the time."

The sides finally came to terms before the deadline, with D'Angelo Russell headlining the package heading to Minnesota, and Wiggins has proceeded to play a key role in helping Golden State get back to the NBA Finals.

Another aspect of the trade also helped in the Warriors' return to the brink of a championship, but it was something that didn't happen: the inclusion of Jordan Poole.

Golden State needed to add in a few low-salary players in order to stay below the luxury tax, and at that moment, Poole was a rookie struggling to make an impact. He finished his debut season shooting just 33.3 percent from the field across 57 appearances.

Ultimately, the Dubs included Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans in the deal, and Poole "does not appear to have factored into that fringe salary conversation," per Lowe.

So not only did the Warriors land a starter in Wiggins, but they also retained a player in Poole who emerged this season as a valuable member of the rotation during a breakout season in which he averaged 18.5 points.

Wiggins and Poole have combined to put up 33.6 points per game during the team's playoff run.

Make no mistake, Golden State getting its Big Three of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green back to full strength after injury issues over the past few years is the biggest reason the franchise has a shot at its fourth title since 2015.

That core trio has a total age of 98, however, so having significant, consistent support from the rest of the roster is more important now than it was while they were in their primes.

It's impossible to know whether the Warriors would be in their current position if they never acquired Wiggins or if Poole, who often came up huge while Thompson was working his way back to a full-time role, was dealt away two years ago.

One thing's for sure: Golden State's chances of chasing down this year's title are bolstered by having that duo on its side against the Boston Celtics.

The Finals are tied, 1-1, as the series shifts to Boston's TD Garden for Game 3 on Wednesday.