SAN FRANCISCO -- Andrew Wiggins has played six games with the Warriors now, integrating himself well on the fly. His first came two days after being traded to Golden State on Feb. 6 and he hasn’t stopped for a breath since, merging into his new lane without many glaring mistakes.
That’s all swell and fine and sorta good. It’s also not nearly as important in this lost Warriors season as what’s coming on the horizon.
Wiggins will take the floor with Steph Curry and Draymond Green, maybe as early as Sunday, and we’ll start to see what the Warriors could look like next season when healthy and expected to contend.
Green has been around for three games with Wiggins. Those not living under a rock sporting ear plugs know Curry has been out since Oct. 30 with a fractured left hand but is nearing a return to action as the season winds down. The Warriors hope it’s Sunday but, barring a significant setback, Curry’s coming soon to a basketball court near you.
Putting Wiggins and Curry together down the stretch will add value to a season where the remaining games are primarily relevant for draft positioning.
“The good thing about Steph coming back is that he’ll get a chance to play with him,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “One of the reasons for the trade is that we could plug Andrew in at the 3. We lost so many of our wings over the last year, between Andre [Iguodala], Klay [Thompson] and Shaun [Livingston] and Kevin [Durant].
"To be able to plug him in at the 3 and have him guard his position is a big deal. He has done a good job defensively for us."
The full band won’t get back together until next season. Thompson has been shelved while rehabbing a torn ACL but getting the other three on the court is important as the Warriors try to rebound from significant injuries and personnel losses.
“When we plug Steph back in, we’re starting to put the puzzle back together,” Kerr said. “It will be good to have Steph, Andrew and Draymond in place. Next year we’ll add Klay to that. We’re starting to feel what our team will actually look like.”
Curry is excited about that prospect.
"He's a walking 20 points and the intangibles he can bring in terms of speed," Curry said on Saturday. "Cutting, his length on defense, all of those things will be a fun process to build that chemistry."
"… You look at our lineup and it makes sense in terms of the position that he plays and the skill set that he brings, and obviously with me and Klay coming back healthy, trying to predict what that would look like. He has shown some bright spots about what he's going to be able to do on the floor, and I'm excited about it."
While subtle signs of progress and integration into the system as currently manned shouldn’t be ignored, there are exciting times ahead when Curry comes back.
“That’s the bigger thing, playing with the guys he’ll be in the lineup with next year,” Kerr said. “I think he’ll fit in nicely with those guys.
“He’s doing a nice job executing the offense and he knows what he’s doing out there, but we’re shorthanded right now. As we get healthier, I think you’ll see him fitting in better because you’ll see him fitting into his role.”