Warriors executive Bob Myers’ track record of executing blockbuster deals is so decorated, he’s referred to by many fans as the ‘Swindle God.’ This is the guy who landed Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, Shaun Livingston, David West and DeMarcus Cousins among many others. His reputation as a deal maker and team builder is unmatched around the league. Myers even got an asset, D’Angelo Russell, for the exiting Durant this offseason.
So, what of this most recent deal, sending the aforementioned Russell to the Wolves in exchange for Wiggins and a first-rounder. Did the ‘Swindle God’ strike again?
According to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic, not quite.
“Nah he got swindled,” Thompson told Murph & Mac on Tuesday morning. “He got swindled. Bob Myers got swindled on this one.
“First off, this deal would have been there in the offseason,” Thompson explained. “There’s no line of people trying to get Andrew Wiggins, he would’ve been there. I think everybody in the league agrees with that. Minnesota wanted D’Angelo Russell in July, they wanted D’Angelo Russell in February, I’m willing to bet they would’ve wanted him again in June. Because that’s Karl-Anthony Towns’ boy, and that’s the one guy that will make him happy, and that’s what they were trying to get. So this trade that happened now would’ve been there.”
There’s a high likelihood, however, that Myers’ hand was largely forced on this one. Facing a hard cap, doing a deal now ensured a smaller tax bill for owner Joe Lacob in the offseason, even if that negatively affects the Warriors’ ability to land a big fish.
“Because of the luxury tax stuff, Bob Myers had to do it now, but if he didn’t do it now, I bet you he could’ve gotten two or three first-round draft picks out of them, he could’ve worked that. Imagine Karl-Anthony Towns, who’s already been mad all year which is why they’re doing this, how he would be in the offseason? When he’s seeing all these moves being made and his team not getting better. He’d be even more mad.
“(Myers) had to take a deal he normally wouldn’t have taken, I think he would’ve waited. The worst part for me: Come June draft, the Finals have all been worked out, the teams that have flamed out have flamed out, the drama has started, the players are upset and want to move, and maybe a couple stars pop up on the radar being able to be traded. What’s the Warriors package now? Is Wiggins going to do something in these last 30 games to make people say ‘yeah we’ve gotta have him for $33 million a year?’ I don’t know that he’s doing that.”
The bottom line according to Thompson is that Russell is the type of asset you could package for a star player. Wiggins, at this point, is not.
“I feel like they did just get a worse package to use on the market. If Ben Simmons becomes available and you’ve got Wiggins and a pick, I don’t know if it’s as attractive as Russell and a pick. Say what you want about Russell, he’s got market value. He can handle the ball, he can shoot, he’s a guard, everybody wants a scoring guard, he’s clearly got more market value. Maybe he doesn’t get the deal done but I think he’s got a better shot of getting it done.
“Basically it feels like they gave up on that star chasing front and were like let’s build us another strength in numbers team.”
Listen to the full interview below.