Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Friday that the trade that sent D’Angelo Russell to the Minnesota Timberwolves and brought Andrew Wiggins to the Warriors came down to fit.
“We know that Andrew is a better positional fit for us than what D’Angelo was, just given that Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson) will be back by next season — hopefully before then in Steph’s case, ” Kerr said. “So he’s a good positional fit, athletically — now it’s a matter of catching Andrew up to speed with what we like to do here and really trying to make an impact on him regarding our process and how we like to do our business and how we can help him get better and how he can help our team get better.
“That’s gonna be what these next couple months are about from a team process, along with helping grow and develop the younger players.”
Kerr acknowledged there were questions about how Russell would fit in from the outset.
“To be perfectly blunt, the fit was questionable when we signed him. Nobody questioned that,” Kerr said. “When you already have Steph and Klay and you add a ball-dominant guard you can rightfully question the fit. That was one of those reasons the trade rumors started before the season even began and I think D’Angelo understood that before he signed the contract.”
Wiggins’ game is a better fit in Kerr’s eyes.
“Just the pace and the speed that he possesses at the 3 spot. We’ve always liked to play fast and we like to throw the ball ahead,” Kerr said. “The first thing we’re going to ask him is to run the wing and run the wing hard. We’ve got guys who will throw the ball up. I think that will be something that he’ll enjoy.
“Defensively, we will ask him to take on the challenge of what that position entails — guarding some of the best players in the league, adapting to our schemes and terminology. And so I think it’s important that we have a couple of months here to get a head start into next season.
“To get a valuable wing player is not easy. There’s very few of them in the draft, according to our scouts, and very few of them available in free agency. Wings are hard to come by. Just by bringing in a positional fit, a guy who’s got a lot of talent, the move makes a lot of sense.”
Wiggins is flying into San Francisco on Friday night, Kerr said, and still has to clear his physical.
Kerr said, however, that Wiggins has a “chance” to play Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers.
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