When Kevin Durant chose to leave the Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets last summer, it sent off a massive domino effect for the Golden State organization.
The front office didn't want to lose the two-time NBA Finals MVP without getting anything in return, so management elected to acquire D'Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade transaction (which put them in a "hard cap" situation).
In order to make that happen, the Warriors were forced to trade Andre Iguodala and a 2024 top-four protected first-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Additionally, the Dubs sent the Nets a top-20 protected first-round pick in 2020 (a reported KD demand). But they will end up keeping that selection and instead will send Brooklyn a 2025 second-rounder.
On Thursday morning, the franchise traded Russell, Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, a 2021 top-three protected first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick.
So as things currently stand, the Warriors turned KD (who wasn't staying no matter what), Iguodala, a 2024 1st-rounder and a 2025 2nd-rounder into:
-Minnesota's 2021 1st-rounder (top-three protected)
-Minnesota's 2021 2nd-rounder
-$17.2 million trade exception (from the Iguodala deal, which is quite valuable and you can fully expect the Warriors to use some or all of it to acquire a good player in July)
-no "repeater tax" this season or next season
Golden State Warriors
It's obviously way too soon to judge the situation because we have to see how Wiggins performs and what those T-Wolves picks become.
And who knows -- maybe they end up trading the former No. 1 overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft down the line.
A lot remains up in the air. But the one thing we know for sure is that Russell's time in a Warriors uniform was short-lived.