Andrew Wiggins trades ‘key move’ for Warriors dynasty recovery, says Steve Kerr

Andrew Wiggins trades ‘key move’ for Warriors dynasty recovery, says Steve Kerr

Andrew Wiggins’ posterizing dunk on Luka Dončić was perhaps the biggest talker on Monday morning as sports pundits recap the Warriors’ 109-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals .

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, however, had the bigger picture in mind when speaking to reporters Monday in Dallas.

He named Wiggins as the button that pressed Dynasty’s “recovery” at the bay after back-to-back injury-riddled, playoff-free seasons since the team’s last NBA Finals appearance in 2019.

“I think the Wiggins trade is the key to all of this,” Kerr said of Golden State’s success. “I’ve probably said it many times, but we lost so many full-backs after the [2018-19] season. Andrew [Iguodala]Shaun LivingstonKevin [Durant]Clay [Thompson] with the injury. The whole core of our wing was wiped out defensively.

Livingston retired following the Warriors’ six-game loss to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals. Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, and Iguodala left for two seasons in South Beach with the Miami Heat. Thompson worked his way up after tearing an ACL tear in his left knee before suffering a ruptured right Achilles the following year.

At the 2019-20 trade deadline, the Warriors fulfilled their need on the wing by sending guard D’Angelo Russell and a pair of bench players, Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman, to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Wiggins and two picks in 2021. NBA Draft.

“The Wiggins trade allowed us to start rebuilding that wing defense,” Kerr said. “Wiggs has been so good, he’s improved so much over the last two years. He’s perfect next to our guys.”

At the time of the trade, Wiggins was in the second season of a maximum five-year contract extension with the Timberwolves. Wiggins’ talent on the court was undisputed – he was named the 2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year and averaged 19.7 points per game over six seasons at Minnesota.

But doubts remained over Wiggins’ efforts in defense and passion for the game. He was seen as overpaid as Wolves’ commitment to Wiggins did not result in wins. Minnesota had only one winning season and one playoff appearance during Wiggins’ tenure, both of which were attributed by most to Jimmy Butler’s arrival in Minneapolis.

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Wiggins found his sweet spot in his second full season on the Bay. With only five previous playoff games under his belt heading into the Warriors’ current run, Wiggins is making an impact in just about every playoff game. His defensive efforts against Dončić were praised in the conference finals as much as his signature dunk.

“I don’t know where we would be without him defensively with his work on Luka and all the other top wings we have to deal with,” Kerr said. “He was just brilliant. I think that decision was kind of the key decision that Bob and the front office made to get us back to a playoff-ready roster.”

And Wiggins’ playoff journey isn’t over yet.

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