While no one is confusing Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Durant, the former No. 1 pick is having a major impact for the Warriors in this year’s playoffs, writes Rohan Nadkarni of SI.com, noting that the trades Golden State made as a result of Durant’s departure in 2019 – first for D’Angelo Russell, then for Wiggins – are paying dividends now.
As John Schuhmann of NBA.com tweets, no player among the four active teams has registered a better on/off differential since the start of the postseason than Wiggins. Golden State has a +13.2 net rating in his 461 postseason minutes, compared to a -9.2 mark in the 211 minutes he hasn’t played.
“I can tell you everybody in the organization is happy he’s here,” Klay Thompson said of Wiggins on Sunday. “Without him we would not be where we’re at.”
Wiggins’ performance in 2021/22 has been worthy of his $31.6MM salary, according to Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic, who wonders if a contract extension could be in the cards this offseason for the 27-year-old forward. Wiggins will be entering the final year of his current deal, and while it remains to be seen if the franchise will make big long-term commitments to both him and Jordan Poole, the team has no plans to move on from Wiggins anytime soon, Thompson writes.
Here’s more on the Warriors:
- Although this year represents the first time since 2019 that the Warriors have made the playoffs, Draymond Green believes it’s more accurate to say that Golden State’s dynasty was on a hiatus due to injuries than to say it ended. “None of these people really removed us from this space,” Green told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk, as Ramona Shelburne relays. “Toronto beat us, but no one really came and said, ‘All right, the Golden State Warriors’ time is up.'”
- The Warriors appear to be rounding into championship form at the right time, Tim Kawakami writes for The Athletic. “This is probably our best stretch of the season, where we’ve been able to put together lineups and combinations that maybe we weren’t able to get to in the regular season,” head coach Steve Kerr said on Sunday. “And we’ve got a lot of guys playing at a high level right now.”
- Kerr and his coaching staff are delivering a masterpiece of a series in the Western Finals, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, who breaks down film of the Warriors on offense and defense to show how they’re stymieing the Mavs.
- In case you missed it, X-rays on Otto Porter Jr.‘s injured left foot were negative, but it remains unclear whether the veteran forward will have to miss much time due to the injury. He’ll be listed as doubtful for Game 4 on Tuesday, according to Kerr, who said Porter “wasn’t feeling terrible” this morning (Twitter link via Slater).