What You Don't REALIZE About The Andrew Wiggins Trade To The Warriors and Stephen Curry (Ft. NBA)
Andrew Wiggins got traded to the Warriors to join Stephen Curry for D’Angelo Russell right at the NBA deadline, but how does Wiggins work with Curry & the Warriors #NBA #Wiggins #Curry
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D’Angelo Russell was the consolation prize for the Warriors in the sign and trade with the Nets. It allowed the Nets to free up necessary cap space and also gave the Warriors something in return for KD instead of getting nothing. He’s only 23 so he’s far from his prime, he was just an All-Star last year, and as a 6’ 5” guard, there was a lot of potential of Russell learning from Curry and Klay. But there was always the question of fit alongside Curry and Klay. The main caveat with this was the the Warriors got a young player with potential in a situation where they were about to get nothing. So now they got Andrew Wiggins who is a polarizing player, a guy who’s in this gray zone where he’s not bad, he’s not great, he’s just good with so much more promise on a really expensive contract, maybe the worst in the league.
So the main focus for the Warriors is to build a team for next season while managing to stockpile assets for the future. Curry is almost 32 years old, Klay is turning 30 tomorrow, and Draymond Green is turning 30 in less than a month. And so the window for these players is definitely dwindling. At the same time, these three still have peak years left.
So now they get Andrew Wiggins out of a situation where they were going to lose KD for nothing and perhaps more importantly, the Timberwolves 1st round pick in 2021 that’s only top 3 protected. Remember the Timberwolves are only 3 games ahead of the Warriors with the 4th worst record. So the Warriors could end up with the number 1 pick with their own pick and a top 5 pick with the Timberwolves in the future, all which become either young talent for the future or tradable assets.
Andrew Wiggins is about to turn 25 years old, and has multiple seasons of averaging 20+ points, but we all know that he’s still not fulfilling his potential. The Timberwolves is a franchise that has not been the best environment. The Warriors have been a great organization that for the past 7-8 years really has been getting the most out of their players.
So now onto the basketball side of things where people think Wiggins is basically a Harrison Barnes in the Warriors system, especially since Wiggins is not a knockdown shooter, but that’s just wrong. Did the Warriors not just have Durant on their roster? Curry, Klay, and Green all gave up touches and usage so that Durant would be able to operate in the offense. Durant just averaged 28.2% usage rate in his 3 years on the Warriors while Harrison Barnes was fulfilling a role and getting a usage rate around 16%. Now do I think Andrew Wiggins will have the same usage as Kevin Durant? Heck no, but the offense has room to give Wiggins his touches, especially with Andre Iguodala gone. The Warriors need more ball handlers, besides Curry and Green, it’s what allows the Warriors to run a lot of these off-ball actions with Curry and Klay and Wiggins can actually do that.
Wiggins has emerged as a primary ball handler this season, at times, running point guard for the Timberwolves with some success which is more than what Harrison Barnes could do for the Warriors. Wiggins focused on ball handling this off-season and saw film on James Harden on how Harden could break down a defense with his handling. IOn top of that, he can be that guy that can run heavy with the second unit and stagger Curry and Wiggins minutes, but at the same time still play them together in important stretches.
Can we talk about how Wiggins benefits from being surrounded by Curry and Klay? As a slasher, he will have all the space in the world to operate. If defenses decide to bring help defense, Wiggins has already shown that he can make open passes, but most likely defenses won’t help off which means Wiggins is going to have one on one coverage and probably not against the primary perimeter defender of the team. And with no one really at Wiggins position on the Warriors, he’s their main small forward which allows Klay to play more of his natural position at the 2. Everyone on the Warriors can really play their natural positions.
The big risk in this trade comes with Wiggins’s contract. His contract still has 3 seasons left after this year averaging more than 30 million dollars a season. That’s a huge contract to someone who’s not proven that he’s a star. The one plus that minimizes a worst case scenario with Wiggins not being a star is that the Warriors will still have the draft pick. This trade is really one of the riskiest trades for the Warriors.