Andrew Wiggins

Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins Available For Game 6

Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, who was previously listed as questionable after sustaining a left costal cartilage fracture (the area of the rib cage that connects the ribs to the sternum), has officially been upgraded to available for Friday’s Game 6 against the Lakers, tweets Kendra Andrews of ESPN.

Andrews reported earlier today that Golden State was hopeful Wiggins would be able to suit up despite dealing with the injury. He went through his pregame routine and felt good enough to play.

According to Andrews, the Warriors believe Wiggins suffered the fracture in the fourth quarter of Game 5, which the team won in no small part due to his efforts. Wiggins was clearly in pain after the game and tried to downplay the severity of the injury by saying he’d be OK, but an MRI later revealed the fracture, sources tell Andrews.

Wiggins is wearing a protective pad on his chest, telling Andrews (via Twitter) that he’s feeling better today than he was yesterday.

Head coach Steve Kerr said he hadn’t discussed a minutes restriction for Wiggins, but added he would be monitoring the former No. 1 overall pick based on “his movement, his feeling, how effective he can be,” per Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Through 12 playoff games (34.5 minutes) in 2022/23, the 28-year-old is averaging 17.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks on .468/.311/.698 shooting. The defending champions trail their second-round series with the Lakers 3-2, so it’s another must-win game for the Warriors.

Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins Questionable For Game 6

Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins has seen his status downgraded to questionable ahead of his team’s must-win Game 6 against the Lakers on Friday, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Slater reports that Wiggins has suffered a left costal cartilage fracture. This is the area of the rib cage that connects the ribs to the sternum.

It’s discouraging news for the Warriors, who are coming off a blowout 121-106 Game 5 win over Los Angeles on Wednesday. In that victory, Wiggins scored 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting, his best output in 12 playoff games this season. He also pulled down seven rebounds, dished out an assist and notched one steal.

For the series, the 6’7″ combo forward out of Kansas is averaging 16.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.8 APG, and 0.6 SPG across 33.2 MPG. The Lakers still lead the Warriors 3-2, meaning Golden State will have to win out to advance to its second straight Western Conference Finals appearance.

If Wiggins sits, it will be fascinating to see which player head coach Steve Kerr opts to insert into his starting lineup. Among Warriors players already seeing rotation minutes in this series, Moses Moody makes the most positional sense, but perhaps Kerr will decide to reinsert a bigger floor spacer like JaMychal Green back into his first five, or shift center Kevon Looney to a starting role and move Draymond Green back to power forward.

Warriors Notes: Poole, Wiggins, Payton, Game 5

Warriors guard Jordan Poole has had an erratic second-round performance against the Lakers. Around the league, his overall postseason play this year has rival executives unsure to what extent Golden State still views the 23-year-old as a foundational piece for the younger core of its roster, writes Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report.

Poole inked a four-year extension worth a guaranteed $123MM this past summer. That lucrative new deal will take effect next season.

“I don’t know why the Warriors rushed to overpay him,” an executive told Pincus. “They could have given him the same money this summer. At least then, they’d know what his contract would mean to their situation,” the Eastern Conference executive continued. “He’s earning more than [Andrew] Wiggins, and Wiggins is way more valuable than Poole.”

Pincus wonders if the Warriors may look to offload Poole’s contract and negotiate new long-term deals with veterans Draymond Green, who has a player option for 2023/24, and Klay Thompson, who will be extension-eligible next season.

There’s more out of Golden State:

  • Wiggins holds no hard feelings about how his entry into the NBA played out, writes Mark Medina of Sportsnaut. Wiggins, the No. 1 draft pick in 2014, was selected by the Cavaliers before becoming the centerpiece of a trade to the Timberwolves that landed Kevin Love in Cleveland. Lakers All-NBA small forward LeBron James, now Wiggins’ opposition in his Warriors’ ongoing second-round playoff series, went on to appear in four straight NBA Finals alongside Love. “It’s the business side of basketball,” Wiggins said. “People get traded all the time. At the end of the day, they have a ring and I have a ring. It worked out.”
  • In a conversation with Marc J. Spears of Andscape, Warriors guard Gary Payton II spoke about his offseason free agency, a challenging injury, and his return to the Warriors at the trade deadline. Payton wanted to re-sign with Golden State, where he had just won a title in 2022, as a free agent, but instead wound up taking a more lucrative three-year, $26.1MM deal with the Trail Blazers. “This is probably like my only one [long-term deal],” Payton said. “You know me, I’m like, ‘Yeah. I ain’t got probably one or two of these left, so I got to take it.'” A core muscle injury temporarily put his trade back to the Warriors in jeopardy, but ultimately Golden State decided to go through with the deal and bring him back. He’s now starting in the team’s second-round playoff series. “It was just a little hill,” Payton said of the injury. “But I feel like last year showed them last season if fully healthy can happen.”
  • Payton’s move to the starting lineup, an efficient shooting night inside the arc for Stephen Curry, more proactive offense from Green, and improved play from Poole and Wiggins are credited by Medina in a separate piece as key reasons the Warriors saved their season on Wednesday in a Game 5 home win.

Western Notes: Irving, Wiggins, Poole, Murray

The Mavericks said after the season they intended to re-sign Kyrie Irving and that’s what’s Steve Bulpett is hearing from rival executives. However, Luka Doncic will have to get used to not having the ball in his hands all the time and they’ve got to upgrade the roster defensively, Bulpett writes.

“Kyrie was on great behavior — like he was doing everything to try to win over Luka and be a teammate. Every single player on that team and everyone in the organization loves Kyrie from his time there so far,” one GM told Bulpett. “I do think there’s some skepticism going forward for what (the Mavericks are) going to offer him. Like, they’re not completely naïve.”

The Mavericks can offer Irving a five-year contract worth up to $272MM.

We have more from the Western Conference:

  • Andrew Wiggins surprised many people by how effective he was against Sacramento despite a long layoff due to personal reasons. The Warriors forward averaged 18.1 points and 5.9 rebounds in the first-round series and told The Athletic’s Sam Amick he should be even better against the Lakers. “I feel like in Game 1, once I scored a couple points, I was like, ‘Pffft, I’m back. I’m good.’ My feel for the game was still there. My rhythm and my conditioning felt good enough to compete,” he said. “So I think I’m only going to get (better), because my conditioning still needs to get better. I feel like there’s still more. I mean, last year I was picking up full court (defensively) the whole playoffs, and I didn’t do that yet. It’s coming though.”
  • In contrast, Warriors guard Jordan Poole had a rough series against the Kings, Tim Kawakami of The Athletic notes. He shot 33.8% from the field and struggled defensively against Sacramento’s guards. Poole’s four-year, $123MM extension kicks in next season and the Warriors hope he’ll pick it up against the Lakers. “Wasn’t his best series, obviously,” coach Steve Kerr said.
  • Kings rookie forward Keegan Murray came away from the playoffs feeling optimistic about his future, Hunter Patterson of The Athletic writes. The lottery pick averaged 9.7 points and 6.8 rebounds in the first-round series. He’ll work with Domantas Sabonis during the offseason. “This series made me more confident than anything in my ability to move forward and my ceiling of how good I can be in the NBA,” Murray said.

Warriors Notes: Wiggins, Green, Looney, Thompson

Warriors small forward Andrew Wiggins has been a surprisingly excellent two-way contributor in the team’s 2-2 series against the Kings, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The 6’7″ swingman had been away from the team since February 13 tending to personal issues, but hasn’t missed a beat in his return — he has played a total of 139 minutes in the series, a total just below those of De’Aaron Fox, Domantas Sabonis, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. He’s averaging 19.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 2.3 BPG across the first four games of the series.

There’s more out of Golden State:

  • Following his very public physical training camp altercation with teammate Jordan Poole, Warriors power forward Draymond Green felt he had to work to regain his standing in the locker room, he tells Shams Charania of The Athletic. “We all know the situation,” Green said. “And I felt like I had to earn my voice. A voice isn’t given. For me, I wanted to do things to earn that back… I needed to earn respect and I needed to earn a voice. And not just because you’re Draymond… you’ve done this, you’ve done that in this organization and everyone’s just supposed to listen.”
  • Starting Warriors center Kevon Looney, who once again has emerged as a major figure in these playoffs, recently detailed how a rigorous yoga routine keeps him, well, centered, per Scott Cacciola of The New York Times. Looney, who has struggled with injuries in the past, has not missed a single game over the past two season, a fact he credits to “Jana Joga,”
  • Though Golden State shooting guard Klay Thompson has yet to submit a massive offensive showing through four playoff games against Sacramento, history suggests that one is forthcoming, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. “He’s in that weight room every day, training room every day,” Green said. “As far as him competing and looking like Klay? It’s April. That is who Klay Thompson is. He is one of the biggest and best winners I’ve been around, and that’s what matters most to him.”

Injury Updates: Morant, Giannis, Wiggins, Payne

Going into Wednesday’s Game 2, there were indications that Ja Morant‘s right hand injury had healed enough for him to play, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. In a meeting with reporters shortly before game time, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said his star guard was “feeling a little bit better,” adding that he just had to clear some tests regarding his grip and his ability to dribble.

The announcement that Morant would miss the game was made about an hour before tipoff. Jenkins explained that the team decided to be cautious with the injury, which an MRI revealed involves soft tissues between the bones in Morant’s hand.

“He got all the testing and was still battling some soreness, a little pain,” Jenkins said. “It’s just a collective decision. We all decided that, and obviously he’s a warrior, he wants to be out there, would do anything to be out there, but we just felt like hey, just given all the testing results, give him this game and just wait a couple more days in between.

“We’re hopeful that with the progress he’s making the last couple of days, you know, he’ll be back sooner rather than later. Can’t guarantee when that’s going to be, but it was just one of those things that we just couldn’t, you know, pull it to have him in tonight.”

The series will resume Saturday night in Los Angeles.

There’s more injury news to pass along:

  • It was also close to game time Wednesday when the Bucks determined that Giannis Antetokounmpo wouldn’t be available, per Jim Owczarski of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Antetokounmpo had been upgraded to questionable, but the team opted to not to take a risk with his injured back. “I told him this morning, like, I know you’re going to want to come back but if you don’t, just know we got you,” Jrue Holiday said. “Again, our team has the ultimate confidence in each other and we know how Giannis is. We know Giannis is going to try and make that Superman effort and come back and play 48 minutes and do what he does, but like I said, we can hold down the fort until he comes back.”
  • The Warriors are listing Andrew Wiggins as questionable for Thursday’s Game 3 with soreness in his right shoulder, tweets Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Wiggins has been dealing with the shoulder issue since the postseason began, but he was able to play 39 minutes in Game 2.
  • Backup point guard Cameron Payne remains questionable for the Suns in Game 3, tweets Law Murray of the Athletic, who adds that coach Monty Williams indicated that Payne has to overcome “movement-related hurdles” before he can play again.

Warriors Notes: Wiggins, Poole, Kuminga, Adjustments

Andrew Wiggins is humbled by the patience the Warriors’ organization showed while he attended to a family matter over the past two months, he told Marc J. Spears of Andscape. Wiggins, whose four-year extension kicks in next season, returned to action in Game 1 of the first-round series with the Kings.

“In this organization, I feel like I’ve been blessed, just being here and all that time they gave me off to be with my family,” Wiggins said. “They didn’t have to do that, and they did it. And they didn’t rush me back. It was my decision to come back, so I just feel like that just says a lot about this organization. From my heart, I can say everyone here cares. This whole organization cares. There still can be a lot of good people out there. I’ll never forget that. A lot of teams aren’t doing that, so I’m forever grateful.”

We have more on the Warriors:

  • Jordan Poole is listed as questionable for Game 2 on Monday night with a left ankle sprain. He twisted it late in the third quarter of Game 1, Kendra Andrews of ESPN tweets. He had 17 points in 22 minutes in the series opener.
  • Coach Steve Kerr issued a challenge to forward Jonathan Kuminga for Game 2 and beyond — hit the glass much harder. “I’d like to see him rebound,” Kerr told Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area and other media members. “He didn’t have a rebound (Saturday) night, and that’s got to be a focal point for him — and for our whole team. We keep talking about everything, but it still comes back to rebounds. But I thought JK did a really nice job in a lot of ways, and he can get better.”
  • What kind of adjustments will they make in order to avoid an 0-2 predicament? Tim Kawakami of The Athletic anticipates Stephen Curry playing more than the 37 minutes he logged in Game 1 and Gary Payton II being deployed as the main defender against Malik Monk, among other tweaks.

Warriors Notes: Wiggins, Poise, Looney, Curry, Poole

It wasn’t ideal that Andrew Wiggins ended up with the ball with the game on the line on Saturday, considering he hadn’t played in over two months. However, the Warriors do feel whole again with Wiggins’ return after a lengthy personal absence, Wiggins finished with 17 points and four blocks in 28 minutes in the Game 1 loss to Sacramento, Kendra Andrews of ESPN notes.

“He’s a big part of everything we do,” guard Stephen Curry said. “When you go into a season, you want to be as fully healthy as possible because that’s the way all the pieces are meant to fit. We haven’t had it for a very long time and we tried to hold down the fort. Now we have that look back.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr didn’t mind seeing Wiggins get a corner shot with his team down one in the waning seconds. “Take that shot all day long. Left corner 3, that’s his spot,” Kerr said.

We have more on the defending champions:

  • The Kings showed grit and poise down the stretch despite their lack of playoff experience, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Sacramento guards De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk outdueled the Warriors’ Splash Brothers in the second half. “They made plays down the stretch,” forward Draymond Green said. “They got to the free throw line. And we missed a couple shots that we’ll make.”
  • Big man Kevon Looney played 32 minutes, made both of his field goal attempts, pulled down nine rebounds and added two assists, a block and a steal. He re-upped with the Warriors on a three-year, $22MM deal last offseason and Marcus Thompson of The Athletic details how Looney has become an invaluable member of the team.
  • The Warriors have now lost the first road game in a series 11 times under Kerr but they won Game 2 eight of the previous 10 times. That gives the Warriors plenty of reason for optimism, since they’re familiar with making adjustments, Thompson writes. “For the most part, I liked the way that we played,” Curry said. “And if we can do that again — just with that level of execution, shore up some of our defensive kind of rotations and looks to try to slow those guys down. I know we can shoot the ball better and rebound the ball better. So if we can do those things, I like where we’re at … we’ve got to win one in this building at least, so, why not Game 2?”
  • Jordan Poole is listed as questionable for Monday’s game after rolling his left ankle on Saturday.

Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins Cleared To Play Saturday

The Warriors will be getting one of their top players back to start the postseason, according to Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link), who report that Andrew Wiggins has been cleared for Game 1 against the Kings on Saturday.

Charania says the Warriors are “leaning toward” having the 28-year-old come off the bench initially, and he’s expected to play in the range of 20-25 minutes. As Slater notes (via Twitter), Golden State took a similar approach with Stephen Curry when the playoffs started last season after he had missed the last month of the 2021/22 regular season due to injury.

Both Curry and head coach Steve Kerr have said that Wiggins “looked good” in 5-on-5 scrimmages over the past week. Kerr told reporters on Thursday that he wasn’t sure if Wiggins would be on a minutes restriction.

On one hand, Wiggs is one of those guys who doesn’t seem to fall out of shape … on the other hand he hasn’t played in 10 weeks,” Kerr said (Twitter link via ESPN’s Kendra Andrews).

The veteran forward last played on February 13, missing the final 25 games of the regular season due to a personal matter. Wiggins wound up playing a career-low 37 games (32.2 MPG) in ’22/23, averaging 17.1 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.3 APG and 1.2 SPG on .473/.396/.611 shooting.

A former No. 1 overall pick, Wiggins was pivotal during last year’s championship run and figures to be a major player in the Warriors’ chances to defend their title.

Warriors Notes: Wiggins, Tax Concerns, Green, Curry

The Warriors haven’t determined when Andrew Wiggins will resume playing, but there’s optimism that he’ll be ready when their playoff series with the Kings begins Saturday, writes C.J. Holmes of The San Francisco Chronicle.

Wiggins has participated in two scrimmages since returning to the team last week, and coach Steve Kerr said he was impressive both times. Kerr added that Wiggins will be watched closely for the rest of the week as team officials try to determine whether he can play in Game 1, if he will start, and what type of minutes restriction he might be under.

“A lot of good, positive signs have come out of this past week, and we’ll just play it by ear as we get ready for Saturday,” Kerr said.

General manager Bob Myers expressed similar sentiments in a radio appearance Wednesday, according to Holmes, and Wiggins’ teammates are getting excited about the prospect of bringing back one of the key pieces of last year’s title team.

“He looked good,” Stephen Curry said of Wiggins’ scrimmage performances. “He, for the most part, played most of the action we had. He really hasn’t lost a step. I know it’s just scrimmaging and getting back into the pace of live basketball, but he looked pretty spry, fresh legs. And hopefully that bodes well for his return this weekend.”

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Even though they’re the defending champs, the Warriors may need a long playoff run to keep the core of the team together, states Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Draymond Green has a $27.6MM player option this summer on the final year of his contract, and Klay Thompson will be eligible for a new extension. Contract extensions for Wiggins and Jordan Poole will kick in next season, and a new CBA contains harsher restrictions for teams that far exceed the luxury tax threshold. Marcus Thompson notes that the team has a projected salary and tax bill for next year that could approach $500MM, which owner Joe Lacob has called untenable.
  • Green said on the #thisleague UNCUT podcast that he would like to play four more seasons and retire as a Warrior, relays Shayna Rubin of The East Bay Times. “I would love to finish my career here,” he said. “That’s been my goal since signing this current contract that I’m on. It’s looking like a more realistic thing to be finishing here. And I also don’t want to play 20 years in the NBA, I want to play 15 years in the NBA. In four more years, it’s likely I’ll be contributing at a high level and living up to the contract I’ll be on. As far as the probability, I can’t give you that because it isn’t up to me. If it was up to me, I can tell you 100 percent I would finish my career here.”
  • Curry’s new deal with Under Armour includes shares of the company worth $75MM, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.