As the trade deadline looms over the Association, more and more rumors have begun to surface. Every “expert” out there is trying to scoop one another and a particularly interesting scenario thrown around has been a trade between the Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The deal supposedly being talked about is Andrew Wiggins in exchange for D’Angelo Russell. Both are young players who are still trying to find solid footing in the league, and for Andrew Wiggins this trade could be the key.
These two guys are similar ages, Wiggins ,24, and Russell, 23, have averaged similar numbers over their career points wise. This season Wiggins is averaging 22.4 points while Russell is averaging 23.8 points. Position wise however, this swap is exactly what both teams need.
Andrew Wiggins has struggled to legitimize himself throughout his career in the eyes of NBA fans. He should be playing like a superstar given his athleticism and natural ability (not to mention his contract) and yet he continues average numbers with middling level efficiency. This year he has taken steps forward and improved in his shot selection and passing but he hasn’t managed to take the big step he needs to.
By adding Andrew Wiggins to this Warriors team, he would receive the spacing and playmakers he needs to take the last step into a real force in the current state of the league. Looking at the rosters he’s played on, besides Karl Anthony-Towns, Wiggins has never had lots of consistent help. By being able to play with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson on the wings, Wiggins would have a freedom he’s never had. The floor would be wide open and he’d be able to slash and get to the rim like he loves to do and does so well. Not to mention with his improving three point shot, he’d be able to contribute to the Warriors quick run-and-gun style. Plus, there’s two guys on that roster who would probably be able to help him improve his shot.
The Wiggins experiment would be well worth it for the Warriors team in the league now. Russell is a solid young player and a rising star but trying to make him fit with Thompson and Curry seems a little like pounding a square peg into a round hole. By making the trade and allowing Wiggins to slot into that small forward position, worst case scenario the Warriors have a slightly better Harrison Barnes (who they won a championship with). But best case scenario, Golden State cultivates and grows a young player with lots of potential and he is a perfect fit with their two established stars. Remember folks, Andrew Wiggins is only 24…