Freshest Warrior Andrew Wiggins has battled to satisfy hopes all through his NBA career, so it’s not astounding many league investigators and fans question whether his arrival from Minnesota in Wednesday’s blockbuster trade will just prompt greater disillusionment.
Be that as it may, there’s no uncertainty in the mind of Tom Thibodeau, Wiggins’ previous mentor with the Timberwolves for three seasons, this is a move Golden State will love.
“It’s a great move for the Warriors,” Thibodeau said on 95.7 The Game of the four-player deal sending the small forward to the Bay Area for D’Angelo Russell. “When they get back to being who they are, I think he’ll be a terrific fit.
“I think a change of scenery will be good for him,” added Thibodeau. “When you’re around Steph (Curry), you’re around Klay (Thompson) and you’re around Draymond (Green), I think that experience will help him. I think that’ll help bring the best out of him.”
Some NBA players concurred with Thibodeau’s perspective, especially Bulls guard Zach LaVine and Grizzlies protect Tyus Jones, both of whom took to Twitter to rave about Wiggins’ move to the Warriors.
“Wig about to thrive in Golden State. That’s a great fit,” LaVine tweeted.
Jones likewise believes playing with the Warriors will release the best of Wiggins.
“Wiggs gonna be scary in Golden State. Great fit,” he tweeted.
In any case, most NBA followers concur Wiggins has battled to move toward the potential he had when leaving Kansas as the top pick in 2015. Indeed, he’s averaged a strong 19.7 points per game, yet the book on Wiggins is he’s a volume shooter (his 52 percent scoring efficiency is three points under league average) who battles from distance (profession 33 percent 3-point shooter), and who battles significantly more on defense.
Wiggins’ maximum agreement was additionally observed as a hurdle to any trade — he’s in the second year of a five-year, $147.7 million deal that will pay him an incredible $33 million in 2022-23. Indeed, dealing Russell, Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman empowered the Warriors to get away from the luxury tax, however some miracle at what cost?
Minnesota having the option to unload Wiggins to the Warriors while surrendering only a secured first-round pick in 2021 and a second-rounder in ’21 was a steal, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said.
“That’s a huge win for the Wolves because they did not want to give their first-round pick in 2020, unprotected,” Windhorst said. “A couple of days ago, that was the kind of deal Golden State wanted. They were willing to take Wiggins, but they wanted to incentivize with multiple picks, including this year’s pick that we know is going to be very good. For the Wolves to be able to make this deal, without having to give up their pick this year, is just a tremendous deal. (It) completely energizes that team and changes their outlook.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, however, said the agreement among executives around the league was it was a trade the Warriors couldn’t pass up.
“For the Warriors, they felt, in the end, this was their best chance to get the most value for Russell because there wasn’t a team out there who had wanted D’Angelo Russell and needed a point guard in the way that Minnesota did,” he said.
Once more, Thibodeau goes to the defense of the 24-year-old small forward.
“I thought he drew some unfair criticism,” Thibodeau said. “People forget that he’s still a young player and he’s getting better, and he’s improved every year he’s been in the league. He wants to get better.
“Unfortunately, when you’ve taken as the first player in the draft and you go to a team that’s probably not going to be very good it’s hard to live up to those expectations. The one thing that he’s shown is that he’s a team-first guy. He’ll do whatever you ask him to do.”