Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors spent the last two and half years building back his reputation that was damaged when he was with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Drafted No. 1 in the 2014 NBA Draft, Wiggins was dubbed Maple Jordan, as someone so talented that he was set to be a superstar from Toronto.
Over six seasons with the Wolves, he had solid stats, averaging over 20 points in many seasons, but the Wolves only made the playoffs once during his time there. His value as a talented cornerstone had utterly diminished.
Getting into a new scenario was exactly what Wiggins needed to jolt his career. He was traded to the Warriors and has been a staple in the starting lineup for the past couple of seasons. Wiggins showed his defensive prowess throughout the playoffs this year. He was responsible for guarding the best players on opposing teams and did a fantastic job throughout. Against Jayson Tatum, he completely zapped all the confidence out of the Celtics star, as Tatum shot 36% from the field in the Finals.
Regardless, there were still a lot of haters and doubters who did not think Wiggins would add much value to the Warriors. When he was selected for his first All-Star this season, there was plenty of hate and vitriol from fans.
“There was a lot of talk, people have something to say about every little thing, but now I’m happy that I made it here,” Wiggins said to reporters on June 18 after exit interviews. “People didn’t think I could ever be in this position or even be helpful on a championship team. But I’m proving the doubters wrong and I’m going to keep it going.”
Wiggins Would Like to Stay Where He Is
After winning a title finally this year, Wiggins thinks he’s found a home in the Bay Area. Asked about his future with the Warriors, he responded with definitive clarity.
“I would love to stay here. Being here, this is top-notch. The way they treat the players, the way they treat your family, we’re all one big family. I know a lot of places might say that, but here their actions show it, so I would love to stay here.”
The Warriors have installed a culture that is similar to how the San Antonio Spurs consistently dominated the 2000s for a decade-plus. Players who come into the Warriors system find a way to fit in and perform to the best of their abilities throughout their careers.
Wiggins is expected to command over $33 million in the final year of his contract, but fans may be set for some good news shortly.
Will the Warriors Extend Wiggins’ Contract?
With Wiggins making it publicly known he wants to stay put, are the Warriors interested in retaining his services?
According to ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski, both have a mutual interest in locking down an extension as early as this summer.
“They could extend off of that year another four years, three years,” Wojnarowski says before Game 6 on TV. “Certainly, there’s a motivation this summer to see if they can keep Andrew Wiggins long-term.”
And why wouldn’t they? With the core three players aging, Wiggins has been a natural fit in taking the reins on defense and guarding opposing teams’ best wings. The Warriors have to worry about the high luxury taxes that they have been paying, but then again, they have been paying that for years, and ownership does not seem to care too much about that.