Warriors

Will Wiggins-Curry duo be worth nine-month wait for Warriors?

Warriors

Andrew Wiggins shared the court with Steph Curry in just one game after joining the Warriors at the trade deadline last season, and he's looking forward to playing much more with the two-time MVP this season.

"I'm very excited having Steph Curry back," Wiggins told reporters in a video conference Tuesday. "He's someone that can do everything for us. Once he steps on the floor, just his presence is a game-changer. Him on the floor is a game-changer. Just getting a chance to play alongside him and learning, seeing how he does certain stuff, that's most important."

Curry, fully recovered from the broken left hand that caused him to miss all but five games last season, can unofficially make his long-awaited return in the Warriors' preseason opener Saturday against the Denver Nuggets at Chase Center. He can make his official return in two weeks, when Golden State officially opens the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22 against Kevin Durant's Brooklyn Nets.

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With Curry out for most of last season and five-time All-Star Klay Thompson (torn ACL) absent for all of it, the Warriors owned the NBA's worst record (15-50) when the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Curry returned for one game from his injury, scoring 23 points in 27 minutes during a 121-113 loss to the Toronto Raptors on March 5. Wiggins scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds that night, but one game wasn't nearly enough of a sample size to see how he'd fit alongside Curry moving forward.

 

The former No. 1 overall pick won't just need to learn to play with Curry during the Warriors' abbreviated training camp and preseason, though. Golden State traded for Kelly Oubre Jr. -- like Wiggins, a former Kansas Jayhawk -- to replace Thompson days after he tore his right Achilles' tendon last month.

"The chemistry's building," Wiggins said of Curry and Oubre. "We've been playing together, having success. On the court, we look good. We're getting to read each other. We're making good plays -- on the ball, off the ball. So every day, we're getting better."

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The Warriors' early schedule is unforgiving, providing Golden State ample opportunity to see just how well Wiggins fits with Curry and Oubre, as well as No. 2 overall pick James Wiseman and others. Curry's excited to see Wiggins try to prove himself, and succeeding in their minutes together will go a long way toward Wiggins improving this season.

Wiggins and Curry haven't played together in over nine months, but it won't be long until they and the Warriors learn if the wait was worth it.