Warriors

Why Tom Haberstroh changed mind on Andrew Wiggins' fit with Warriors

Warriors

He originally questioned the Warriors' trade for Andrew Wiggins, but NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh is starting to come around.

"I'll admit it, I didn't see Andrew Wiggins being a very good fit next to the other big three," Haberstroh told NBC Sports Bay Area, "basically because I think they need more defense and Andrew Wiggins hasn't shown consistent defense in his NBA career. He has played a little bit better in Golden State, and certainly when he's surrounded by more talent, I think his game will rise to the level that they need him to play.

"He has shot a little bit better from downtown. He's not a knockdown 3-point shooter yet. His numbers did tick up a little bit in a Golden State uniform, but really the best fit is just positionally. They needed a three."

Wiggins, 25, averaged 19.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists on 45.7 percent shooting from the field and 33.9 percent from 3-point range in 12 games with the Warriors after being acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in early February. Within those 12 games, he registered five blocks in one contest and four steals in another, hinting at his defensive potential.

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Very little of that production came alongside Steph Curry and/or Draymond Green, and none of it came alongside Klay Thompson. Wiggins should have the benefit of playing with all three whenever next season begins. He'll be the third or fourth option on offense, and should be able to take advantage of the best spacing he'll have ever experienced at the professional level.

 

That is, if he's still on the Warriors.

"Andrew Wiggins, to me, is a solid option at the three position," Haberstroh continued, "but I think they'll be interested to see what they can get in the trade market if they do get the top No. 1 overall pick -- just to see what they can find on the market to upgrade at the veteran position. Because Andrew Wiggins has been to the playoffs, but he's not a guy who has been championship tested, and he certainly hasn't been at All-Star caliber level. So maybe they can get that with the addition of that No. 1 overall pick if they get it.

"Andrew Wiggins -- he's a high-upside player, a guy with a lot of athleticism. But to me, he has not fulfilled on that promise. Maybe he will in Steve Kerr's system."

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The Warriors will find out exactly where their first-round pick falls when the NBA Draft Lottery is held on Aug. 20. It is guaranteed to be a top-five selection, but obviously the higher the pick is, the more value it will have.

Golden State at full strength arguably presents the best situation yet for Wiggins to live up to his potential, but it's possible we'll never get to find out.