D'Angelo Russell was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves this season after a short stint with the Golden State Warriors, but the star guard said during an Instagram Live stream that he enjoyed his time in the Bay Area.
"It was dope, man," he said Thursday. "The culture of winning is ... not easy to build. It comes through time. The culture that they had over there, you see why they win. You see why they had the success that they had. They just do it right. It's a lot of special basketball minds over there that just drive that ship over there. It was dope; I enjoyed the whole experience."
The 24-year-old was acquired by the Dubs in a sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets over the summer, with Russell inking a four-year, $117.3 million deal. There were major question marks how a Steph Curry/Russell backcourt might fare, although they barely played together after Curry missed most of the season because of a broken hand.
Russell played well for the injury-depleted Warriors, averaging 23.6 points and 6.2 assists while shooting 43.0 percent from the field and 37.4 percent from three.
But when the Timberwolves—who pursued Russell in free agency last summer to pair with his good friend, Karl-Anthony Towns—came calling ahead of the trade deadline, the Dubs listened. The two teams eventually agreed on a deal that sent Russell, Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman to the Wolves in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, a top-three protected 2021 first-round pick and a 2021 second-rounder.
In Wiggins and that draft capital, the Warriors landed more ammunition to potentially trade for a star player this offseason that better fits their core than Russell did (just imagine the defensive pairing of Russell and Curry). In Russell, the Wolves landed a pick-and-roll partner for Towns, giving the team an exciting and young one-two punch.
So all's well that ends well. Russell certainly seemed to glean a lot from his brief stint with the Warriors.