• Warriors were at odds on Russell's long-term fit
  • Russell still needs time to mature
  • Towns could influence Russell to play better

Though it was repeatedly denied that he would be traded this NBA season, D'Angelo Russell found himself getting shipped anyway. The second overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft and the Dubs got Andrew Wiggins in exchange.

The trade hardly surprised critics since there were several future scenarios to consider. One was that the 6-foot-4 guard would be the odd man out once Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson returned to full health. But it appears there were some things NBA followers did not know.

According to The Athletic, the locker room soured on Russell and did not see him as a long-term fit. His defensive capabilities left a lot to be desired and was not one of those influential players who could help rev up the team like Draymond Green.

Most know Green is someone who can fire up the Warriors when needed. He does that through tough defense and hustle plays. For anyone coming in, he and the rest of the team would want to see new faces go the extra mile. Apparently, this tweeted video from Drew Shiller should explain it all.

For his part, Russell is only 23 years old and needs more time to mature. Though his game has evolved starting with the Brooklyn Nets last season, it remains that he still has rough edges. Perhaps being on a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves trying to rebuild can help in aiding that. He cannot afford to relax and do his share to help out his buddy, Karl-Anthony Towns.

The Dubs did get Andrew Wiggins in exchange. Similar to Russell, there is no question that the Canadian can be an offensive threat. But similar to the case of Russell, he needs to go the extra mile. He needs to show he can defend and hustle to bring up the energy of the Warriors. If he fails to do so, it won't come as a surprise if the Dubs try to shop him as well.

Recall that he was one of the players Jimmy Butler was critical about when the 30-year-old was still with the T-Wolves. Though most felt it was directed to Towns as well, it appears the former top pick of the 2014 NBA Draft was a big part of his outburst.

Also, recall that at some point in the current NBA season, Wiggins drew the ire of head coach Ryan Saunders for lackadaisical play. Though he got things together after getting shouted at, Wiggins needs to understand that he must play at his best at all times - especially now that he is with the Dubs.

D'Angelo Russell
D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts in the second half against the Philadelphia 76ers at Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, April 20, 2019. Getty Images/Elsa