The Golden State Warriors are expected to start Andrew Wiggins at small forward next season despite rumors that the team could move him in the offseason.
When the Golden State Warriors flipped D’Angelo Russell in a package for Andrew Wiggins at the trade deadline, rumors began to swirl about their intentions with the talented, but expensive former top draft pick.
And despite their claims that Wiggins was seen as a part of the future, few could trust that after the same was said about Russell.
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The Warriors continued to insist that they wanted to see a lineup of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and D’Angelo Russell play together. And while injuries prevented that from happening, the team likely knew Russell’s fate before the season began.
The former Brooklyn Nets guard was never a good fit for the Warriors’ offense and his poor defensive ability made him a liability in head coach Steve Kerr‘s system. The thought was intriguing, but it was never going to work.
Wiggins, on the other hand, seemed like a more natural fit.
For starters, he was a true small forward who could slide in on the wing as opposed to the Curry/Thompson/Russell alignment that would have made for some awkward rotations.
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Still, that didn’t halt rumors that the Warriors would look to move Wiggins and flip him in a similar way to how they did Russell. However, at least for the time being, that doesn’t seem to be the plan.
As reported by Anthony Slater of The Athletic on Thursday, the Warriors expect Wiggins to “be their starting small forward next season” indicating that he has a future with the team.
Slater specifically made note that they’re not expected to flip Wiggins’ contract in a similar fashion to Russell. They want Wiggins on this roster and they expect that to be the case for the foreseeable future.
Of course, just because they initially traded for Wiggins with the intention of him being their starting small forward, doesn’t mean that they’ll still feel that way in say six months from now.
What if next season rolls around and he simply doesn’t mesh well with the reunited Splash Brothers? Difficult decisions might have to be made.
If the right offer presents itself, the Warriors might jump. This front office isn’t exactly known for being passive and letting opportunities slip through their fingers.
Now, Warriors fans probably shouldn’t expect some type of blockbuster Giannis Antetokounmpo trade in the near or distant future for that matter. But you never know with this organization.
But at least for now, Andrew Wiggins appears to be a part of the Warriors’ plans.