Andrew Wiggins- Fit on the Warriors

On Feb. 6th 2020, Andrew Wiggins, along with a 2021 top-3 protected first-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick were dealt to the Golden State Warriors. The Minesotta Timberwolves were able to finally snag D’Angelo Russell. The TWolves have been enamored by Russell for quite a while. They were also able to obtain Omari Spellman and Jacob Evans.

The most important part of this trade for the Warriors were the draft picks. The Twolves were adamant about trading away their unprotected 2021 first-round pick, but the top-3 protection would be enough. The 2021 draft is supposed to be much stronger than the 2020 draft, so this is why the Warriors wanted this specific year. The second most important part for the Warriors was ducking under the repeater tax. The Warriors GM Bob Myers said “To see the numbers of being a repeater the level we would’ve been, the numbers got pretty high. If we would’ve drafted in top five…the TPMLE…the traded player exception, all of a sudden you’re talking high 200 (millions).” This was from a Anthony Slater interview. So as you can see, the Warriors were able to save a lot of money because of this trade. The third and final most important part of this trade would be the acquisition of Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins is 24-years old, but he will turn 25 on Feb. 23rd. He is a young wing that should fit better than Russell. The only thing that may hinder his development under the Warriors tutelage, is the ability to stay engaged each and every game.

Wiggins has been labeled as one of the worst contracts in the NBA. Over the next four seasons, (including this season) he is due over $122.24 million. Even with his massive contract, the Warriors still traded for him. This must mean they are confident about their culture being able to change and tap into Wiggins potential. The Warriors front office has widely been considered one of the best front offices, and they hope veterans like Draymond Green will be able to whip Wiggins into shape. Green is known for his intense approach to the game and they are hoping that some of this attitude rubs off on Wiggins. This is a big risk because this approach was used with Jimmy Butler when he was still with the TWolves. As we know, this ended with Butler running the starters out of the gym with the third stringers. This whole saga ended with Butler being traded to the Philadelphia 76er’s. Obviously the Warriors shouldn’t have anything like this happen again, but it definitely has to be in the minds of Joe Lacob and the rest of the front office.

Even with the baggage that follows Wiggins, he does offer the Warriors a wing player with the potential of being a two-way player. This is a much better fit than Russell since he was mostly seen as an awkward fit. This was because he was a lead guard that needed the ball to impact the game. This theoretically would not mesh well with Stephen Curry. So the Warriors front office decided to end the Russell experiment early. This was a shock to the rest of the league, as it was widely thought that the Warriors would be waiting till the offseason to package Russell and this years first round pick for a star.

Wiggins has been able to average 19.7 points per game on 44.1% from the field, 33.3% from behind the arc, and he also grabs 5.1 rebounds a game for his career. These are good career averages, so why is he widely labeled a bust? It is because of his overall attitude. His talent was always what got him to be the number one overall pick back in 2014, but his attitude has been in question ever since he stepped onto the floor in the NBA. If the Warriors are able to fix his attitude, he should fit in very well with the rest of the team. It should be interesting to see how this trade plays out over the next few seasons. Wiggins has brought some much needed buzz to the Warriors fan base since their season has been over for quite a while. The next exciting thing for Warrior fans will be Stephen Curry’s eventual return, scheduled for March 1st against the Washington Wizards.