All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell recently decided to reveal the reasons behind his decision to sign with Golden State Warriors instead of Minnesota Timberwolves last summer. According to Russell, who regardless ended up with Timberwolves via trade in February, Warriors were a better option at the time because they were willing to give him a max-contract.
In a recent chat with The Athletic, Russell admitted that he was tempted to join Timberwolves and play with his longtime friend Karl- Anthony Towns immediately in 2019. Still, the 24-year-old opted to get “every bit of money” he can.
“I remember going through the process, and I was like, ‘If I go to Minnesota, I play with Karl- (Anthony Towns) and all the guys who will be there.’ I could potentially settle down and relax and unpack my bags,” said Russell. “But there’s something telling me you gotta go get every bit of money you’re worth right now.”
Russell also wanted to be around championship-winning players like Klay Thompson and Steph Curry.
“My whole thing was I’m gonna just learn from these guys,” he added. “Even if I don’t get to play with them (very long), I’m going to pick their brain as much as I can.”
D’Angelo Russell’s time with Golden State was brief, as he was traded to Timberwolves just six months later. He played a total of 12 games with Minnesota since then, averaging 21.7 points, 4.6 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.4 steals.
Warriors gave Russell a four-year, $117.3 million max deal, which is something that Timberwolves were unable to pull off at the time. Minnesota didn’t have enough space to give him that deal and would likely need to trade several players and jeopardize their depth in the process.