After an uneven tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves, can Steve Kerr get the best out of Andrew Wiggins with the Golden State Warriors?
From the day D’Angelo Russell was acquired by the Golden State Warriors via a sign-and-trade from the Brooklyn Nets, it had been speculated that he had been acquired more for his value as a trade chip rather than as a long-term asset.
That speculation came to fruition as he was shipped to the Minnesota Timberwolves, along with second-year players Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman, for former number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins, a protected first-round pick in 2021, and a second-round pick in that draft.
The number one overall pick in 2014, Wiggins has showcased his athleticism as well as his potential as a scorer, but questions about his motor and consistency have plagued him throughout his tenure in Minnesota.
With three years remaining on his current contract, it will be interesting to see how head coach Steve Kerr takes on the challenge of keeping Wiggins engaged.
Recently departed forward Glenn Robinson III spoke about how Kerr’s positivity gave him confidence, made him feel empowered, and in turn, was having a career year before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers along with swingman Alec Burks.
Former Warriors center JaVale McGee revitalized his career and successfully repaired his image during his tenure in the Bay Area, and is now starting for the Los Angeles Lakers.
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If Kerr has shown anything throughout his tenure as a coach, it is that he has an innate ability to connect with his players on a personal level and put them in a position to succeed.
If he is able to light a fire under Wiggins and get him to consistently unleash all the potential that propelled him to be the top pick in the draft, the team may have found their long-term solution at small forward.
With the departures of Russell, Burks, and Robinson, the Warriors are going to be hurting for any scoring options. Wiggins should see the lion’s share of touches in the meantime, but the possible return of Stephen Curry on the horizon could take some of the burden off of his shoulders.
While many may have thought, and still may believe, sitting Curry for the remainder of the season is the smartest thing to do, giving Curry and Wiggins a chance to feel each other out on the floor for the final two months may be more beneficial for their long-term success.
Any time the two can get to build chemistry will only benefit them once Klay Thompson makes his eventual return from injury, giving the team a trio of legacy players — Wiggins’ father, Mitchell, played a total of six years in the NBA form 1983-1992 — to go along with emotional leader Draymond Green to form their new core.
Hopefully Wiggins could be the answer the Warriors have been searching for.