Andrew Wiggins was once viewed as a generational talent. Now, he has the reputation of being overpaid. Wiggins is scheduled to make $29.5M this season in Golden State. The top overall pick in 2014 has not lived up to expectations thus far in his career. But, I believe he can make positive strides in Golden State.
Here are a couple of reasons why.
Wiggins Style of Play Translates Well in Steve Kerr’s System
It is no secret that the Warriors offense thrives best with athletic wings. I mean, look at their track record with Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, and Kevin Durant. With that being said, Kerr’s system relies heavily on nonstop player movement, misdirection, transition buckets, and a multitude of off-ball screens. Therefore, the consistent motion in Kerr’s offense should maximize Wiggins offensive abilities because he won’t be in a stagnant offense. Let’s face it, Wiggins is an athletic freak who has a ton of layers to his game. He can finish in transition, defend smaller guards on switches, and is serious threat with the ball underneath the hoop. Additionally, Wiggins improved defensively during his time in Golden State, and proved he can defend the league’s most potent scorers when he alters his defensive mindset.
His Contract Will Be Hard To Deal
The pandemic has put a ton of financial strain the entire league. There is no start date for next season, which means GM’s around the league don’t know what the salary cap will look like. With league revenues declining, it’s hard to imagine that a GM would be willing to take on Wiggins remaining salary. ( $94,738,170M through 2023) The Warriors find value in Wiggins contract because it makes more logical sense to pay an explosive wing player opposed to paying close to $100M for a ball dominant point guard in D’Angelo Russell. Especially with a backcourt featuring the Splash Brothers.
Trading for Andrew Wiggins helped fill the Warriors void at the wing position. At this point, I don’t think trading him away will do the Warriors any favors. This league is driven by athletic wings who have many facets to their game. I strongly believe Wiggins athletic ability will translate well on the court alongside the Warriors big 3. But, the only question that still lingers is Wiggins’ defensive motor. Can he play hard-nose defense at a consistent rate? Will he be able guard dominant wings like Lebron James and Kawhi Leonard throughout a 7 game series? I guess only time will tell. But if I had to bet on a culture to help evolve his game, I would put my money on Golden State.