Warriors

Why Andrew Wiggins is Warriors' most hurt if no camp, second NBA bubble

Warriors

Steph Curry would have nothing to gain from scrimmaging against the Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks or Minnesota Timberwolves.

Neither would Draymond Green.

Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney -- who is said to be far along the road to recovery -- might benefit, strictly from the standpoint of conditioning.

As teammates for eight seasons, mostly of them highly successful, none of Curry, Green and Thompson needs a week or 10 days in a second NBA bubble to learn how to play together. They also know every line of every page in the playbook.

Andrew Wiggins, however, is an altogether different matter.

Unenthusiastic as the Warriors are about the possibility of a bubble designed specifically for the eight teams excluded from the original bubble in Orlando, Florida -- a concept that is diminishing by the day, according to a report Tuesday in The Athletic -- they surely know it could have been good for Wiggins.

It would give the coaching staff a few more hours on the court with their starting small forward.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Acquired in the trade that sent D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota, Wiggins landed in San Francisco on the evening of Feb. 7. He dressed for 12 games as a Warrior before the season was halted due to the coronavirus.

 

Wiggins joined Green in the lineup three times and Curry once. He has yet to play with Looney or Thompson. Wiggins barely knows them and wouldn’t get any better acquainted if somehow there was a momentum shift that resulted in a second bubble. Curry, Green and Thompson almost certainly would be exempt for the aforementioned reasons, as well as the possibility of injury.

Getting Wiggins on the floor with Curry, Green and Thompson would be assured only if the Warriors were to hold an internal camp, scrimmaging among themselves in San Francisco. Warriors coach Steve Kerr has been consistent in saying that is his preference.

But with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, there is no knowing when everyone can gather at Chase Center. The City of San Francisco has been forced to push back some of the tentative timelines released more than a month ago.

[RELATED: Paschall discusses his good 'Welcome to the NBA' moment]

There is every reason to believe Wiggins would benefit from second-bubble court time with Marquese Chriss, Damion Lee, Eric Paschall, Jordan Poole and others. But most of Wiggins’ game minutes next season will come with the Curry-Green-Thompson core.

The team’s flowing offense requires both repetition and anticipation, otherwise it risks becoming a turnover machine. Wiggins will pick that up.

The defense is another matter. It’s more complex and requires one to synchronize with his teammates, particularly those with whom he’ll share the most court time.

Would a second bubble help Wiggins? Yes, but not as much as an internal camp.