Thursday, June 13 2024
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In a reversal of previously reported plans, the Golden State Warriors would now be willing to explore Andrew Wiggins‘ trade market, according to Tim Kawakami. In the past, the team had been uninterested in moving the former All-Star due to his relatively cheap contract, which he signed just last October. 

Still, there’s a big distance between this report and an actual Wiggins trade, but it’s noteworthy that the Warriors are open to the possibility. Less than two years ago, Wiggins was an All-Star starter and a Finals hero during their 2022 title run. So what’s changed? 

Primarily, Wiggins hasn’t reached the heights he did in the 2021-22 season. He missed a large chunk of last season with an undisclosed personal matter, and has been so underwhelming to start this campaign that he was recently benched for Jonathan Kuminga

Through 27 games, Wiggins is averaging 12.6 points and 4.4 rebounds on 42.6% shooting from the field and 29.9% from 3-point land. Those are the worst scoring and 3-point shooting marks of his career, and the fewest rebounds he’s grabbed since 2017 when he was in his third season in the league. His four-year, $109 million extension looked like a bargain based on his previous performance, but it’s too much to pay for a role player off the bench. It remains to be seen if Wiggins will be permanently relegated to that role, but if he is, it makes sense to explore trade options. 

Kuminga, meanwhile, is playing some of the best basketball of his career and has essentially the same skillset and physical profile as Wiggins. So far, the two haven’t shown an ability to play together, which means the Warriors may have to make a choice. If the younger Kuminga — who will be up for a rookie extension next year — can give you much of Wiggins’ production at a cheaper price, the Warriors may view him as the best option moving forward. That would also make Wiggins more expendable. 

The Warriors’ position in the standings come the Feb. 8 trade deadline will be another factor in their decision-making process. At 15-16, they are currently in 11th place in the Western Conference, which has them on the outside of even the Play-In Tournament. They are only 2.5 games out of sixth place, however, and could easily be right in the top-six mix by then. 

To that point, it’s worth going back to general manager Mike Dunleavy’s comments regarding the roster in the wake of Draymond Green’s indefinite suspension.

“I think the bigger impact will be how we do the next 15, 20 games,” Dunleavy said on Dec. 14. “That’ll probably determine where we go. … I don’t think I need any more evaluation of Draymond as a player. We need a little more evaluation of this team: the chemistry, the lineups and all that.

“I think we’re right there, but at some point, our record is going to have to change. We’re going to have to creep past .500 and start winning some games. And if not, we’ll have to re-evaluate.” 

Source: CBSSports.com

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