The months of hypothetical NBA trade ideas and rumors are almost over, with front offices will finally be able to pull the trigger and make highly anticipated moves next week.
The Warriors have been at the forefront of the hot stove chatter, tied to practically any star that is seemingly available to be acquired. In most of these scenarios, the Warriors would have to match the incoming salary by sending a large contract back, and more often than not, that rumored outgoing piece is Andrew Wiggins.
The logic behind it makes sense of course, as Wiggins is not part of the original Warriors' core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, and he also is a high-priced wild card that has yet to reach his full potential.
While some of the trade ideas might make sense to the casual fan, Hall of Famer and former Warriors general manager Chris Mullin wants to pump the brakes on the desire to ship out Wiggins.
"I'm not quite sure you're going to get a more talented wing than him, and he's young" the current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst said on the debut episode of "Dubs Talk" podcast this week.
"I got to think that Andrew Wiggins is going to be reinvigorated and energized, not only to prove people wrong, but to prove to himself and really get out there and start enjoying the game. You see that's the other thing too, I didn't see him in Minnesota really enjoying himself. You see the joy that Steph, Klay and Draymond play with and the energy and passion, I think that's a big part of it."
While Mullin did say that he liked what he saw from Wiggins last year in his limited time with the Warriors, he did also express caution of putting too much into that small sample size in which the former No. 1 overall pick played without the core three.
To Mullin it is clear that Wiggins "needs to raise his game and be more consistent," but the environment and system that the Warriors can provide should be a catalyst for his development.
"He's in the right role for him," Mullin said. "Talent wise, he has the talent of a No. 1 option. He doesn't have to be that. His personality is more of a No. 3 or No. 4 guy. So it's a perfect fit for him. I think he will grow into that."
Looking around the league and analyzing potential trade targets can be laborious at times, but in terms of prototypical wing players that are reportedly available on the market, Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers is near the very top. There are no confirmed reports that the Warriors have pursued a deal for George, but as an example of what the Warriors might be thinking in regards to packaging Wiggins in such a deal, Mullin reasons that it is not as clear-cut as most would assume.
"Is [Paul George] an upgrade over Wiggins?" Mullin wondered. "Yeah, he's a more established player, but maybe more injuries."
"Andrew Wiggins to me still, his youth, his age, is a plus to me. It's an advantage for him. I would think about it, obviously [George] is a great player, but it wouldn't be automatic."
At the end of the day, Mullin sees the potential in Wiggins from a physical ability standpoint, and that plays a major role in his desire to see what he can do with Golden State.
"In terms of straight talent, I wouldn't say [George] is way more talented than Andrew Wiggins, physically," Mullin explained. "He's had a more established career, some more accolades maybe, but he's been in the league longer."
There is so much uncertainty when it comes to the future of Wiggins with the Warriors, but as Mullin and many others have expressed, the sky is the limit for the former No. 1 selection.