Andrew Wiggins is a man of few words, so it's no surprise that the Warriors' wing quietly is silencing his critics this season.
After five-and-a-half lackluster seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the 2014 No. 1 overall draft pick this year is putting up the best shooting numbers of his career and has become a dominant defender.
Wiggins' play through 20 games this season hasn't stopped some Warriors fans and media pundits from contemplating trading the 25-year-old if it means Golden State can acquire Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal.
The Ringer's Jonathan Tjarks wrote last week that the Warriors should go "all in" for Beal and could build a potential package around 2020 No. 2 overall draft pick James Wiseman, Minnesota's top-3 protected 2021 draft pick, possibly future draft picks and one big salary, identifying Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr. or even Klay Thompson as players who could head to the nation's capital.
NBC Sports Bay Area's Josh Schrock graded four potential packages the Warriors could send to Washington for Beal, and he gave Golden State high marks for a hypothetical Wiggins trade.
In the hypothetical, the Warriors would send 2023 top-20 protected first-round pick in addition to Wiggins, Wiseman and Minnesota's pick. Schrock gave the Warriors an A-minus for that potential trade.
But there's one person that would have to sign off on the Warriors trading Wiggins, and that's not likely to happen.
Joe Lacob spoke to The Athletic's Marcus Thompson II recently about Wiggins, and the Warriors owner expects the wing to be on the court with Steph Curry, a healthy Thompson and Draymond Green next season.
“I would be surprised,” Lacob told Thompson II, “if we … if for any reason he would not be on this team next year. I mean, I really, I just don’t see how we could replace him defensively. He’s a two-way player. He’s got the prototypical size. He’s a walking 20 points. And the only question is whether he does the other things. And he’s certainly doing that. So, you know, I think early returns are looking good. You can make your own judgment. Certainly, you have a right to do that. As to whether he fits long term, I think he’s a great fit. Now, is his salary high? Sure. Yes. But we knew that and, you tell me, where would we do better?”
As Thompson II wrote, Lacob has been a big proponent of Wiggins ever since the Warriors acquired him from the Timberwolves last February.
In 20 games this season, Wiggins is averaging 19.9 points on 47.2 percent shooting from the field and 40.6 percent shooting from 3-point range. Both percentages would be career bests if he sustains them over the next 52 games. He also is averaging a career-high 1.5 blocks per game and is making a strong case to be on one of the NBA All-Defensive teams.
The Warriors might still make an offer for Beal, who is leading the NBA in scoring this season at 34.7 points per game, but based on Lacob's comments, any trade won't involve "Two-Way Wiggs."