Pacific Notes: Wiggins, Lakers, O’Neal, Murray, Kings

Warriors star Andrew Wiggins finished a transformation from underachiever to champion when Golden State won the NBA title on Thursday, Jon Krawczynski writes for The Athletic. Wiggins failed to consistently improve during his time with Minnesota from 2014-20, but the former No. 1 pick found his niche with the Warriors this season.

“It’s a feeling I can’t describe,” Wiggins said. “Every day, that stuff is motivating. That put fire in my eyes. I just wanted to prove everyone wrong. Now I’m a world champion. Everyone is going to have something to say, regardless. Whatever they say, they gotta say I’m a world champion, too.”

Wiggins averaged 17.2 points per game this season — the second-lowest mark of his career — and an argument could be made for or against him making his first All-Star Team. However, his improved shooting, defense and unselfishness were key reasons why Golden State won the championship. He shot 47% from the floor and a career-high 39% from deep.

Here are some other notes from the Pacific:

  • LSU’s Shareef O’Neal — son of Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal — has an upcoming workout scheduled with the Lakers, as relayed by Josh Robbins of The Athletic (Twitter link). Shaq played with the Lakers from 1996-2004, winning three NBA championships. Shareef is a 6’10” big man who also recently worked out for the Heat, another team his father won a title with.
  • John Hollinger and Jovan Buha of The Athletic analyze the Lakers‘ offseason, exploring Russell Westbrook‘s future, the team’s free agency outlook and more. Los Angeles is coming off an injury-riddled season, finishing with the fifth-worst record in the Western Conference at 33-49.
  • Projected top-five pick Keegan Murray likes the way he would fit in with the Kings, writes Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee. The Kings own the No. 4 pick in the draft. “I’ve visited with them, met with them, talked to them, so I think just me fitting in with them, kind of being another guy who’s versatile, knows the game, and I think I just kind of bring a winning culture,” Murray said. “I feel like I have a winning mentality; not really that many distractions. Just focus on the task at hand and try to get that job done. I think I just fit in with all the other guys and bring in that winning mindset.”
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