What’s next for Andrew Wiggins?

After a rollercoaster start to his NBA career, Golden State Warriors’ forward Andrew Wiggins finds himself at another important juncture. The former number one overall draft pick has shown flashes of brilliance, but has also faced criticism for inconsistent play at times during his career. As the 2023 season approaches, the question arises: what’s next for the 28-year-old?

Wiggins, known for his athleticism and scoring ability, spent the first five seasons of his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves before being traded to the Warriors in 2020. While he had brief moments of greatness in Minnesota, including averaging over 20 points per game, there were concerns about his lack of efficiency and defensive impact before arriving at Golden State.

Wiggins has turned a once low reputation into one of a valuable two-way in today’s NBA. Golden State, known for its emphasis on ball movement and team-oriented play, has provided the structure and coaching necessary for Wiggins to reach somewhere near his full potential.  Focusing on his defensive contributions and becoming a reliable second/third scoring option, Wiggins was arguably the Warriors’ second-best player during their 2021-22 championship-winning season.

After an interrupted 2022-23 season, what’s the next step for Golden State Warriors’ forward Andrew Wiggins to take in his NBA career?

While Wiggins is now secured on a new four-year, $109 million contract, there are always murmurs of the franchise making a blockbuster trade of which he could inevitably be involved. His contract could be seen as a valuable asset in acquiring another star player to join the veteran core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, not to mention the recently acquired Chris Paul.

The Warriors, seemingly with more of a willingness to make bold moves under new General Manager Mike Dunleavy Jr., may consider packaging Wiggins with draft picks and young assets to make a blockbuster trade that would reshape their roster. Wiggins possesses the talent and physical tools to be a difference-maker, and there are teams in need of scoring and wing depth that could be interested in acquiring him.

Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors celebrates with the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy after defeating the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Finals. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

One potential destination is the Toronto Raptors, the home team of Wiggins’ country of birth. Would the Warriors consider a move of Wiggins for Pascal Siakam? Although unlikely, it’s a lot more realistic than 12 months ago when he were coming off the best season of his career.

Having appeared in just 37 games last regular season due to injury and personal reasons, Wiggins needs to re-establish himself as an All-Star calibre two-way player in 2023-24. He was solid in the playoffs but was never quite at his best, unaided by a rib injury sustained late in the second-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ultimately, the next steps for Wiggins will depend on several factors. While the Warriors’ front office will continually evaluate whether his salary slot could be better utilized, it will all come down to his motivation in returning to his form of the year prior where he was classified the ‘second guy’ on a championship team.

Regardless of what happens, Wiggins has turned himself into a player who can be a valuable contributor in most situations around the league. It will be up to him and the Warriors to continue unlocking the potential that made him the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.


Published on 08/30/2023 at 5:00 PM PDTLast updated on 08/30/2023 at 5:00 PM PDT

Source link : https://bluemanhoop.com/2023/08/30/golden-state-warriors-wiggins-next-step/

Author : Robert Pledge

Publish date : 2023-08-31 00:00:16

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