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Steve Kerr: Andrew Wiggins can thrive with Warriors because ‘we’re not asking him to be a star’

NBA: FEB 01 Timberwolves at Clippers

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 01: Minnesota Timberwolves Forward Andrew Wiggins (22) looks on before a NBA game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Clippers on February 1, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Andrew Wiggins was a disappointment in Minnesota. It’s a strange thing to say about a guy scoring 22.4 points a night, but Wiggins played an apathetic game that frustrated coaches and teammates, and did not lead the Timberwolves to victories.

Steve Kerr thinks things will be different in Golden State because they’re not asking him to lead. Via Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area:

“He’s been in a tough spot and people have talked about him underachieving the last few years, so let’s see what we can do and let’s see what he can do next to a group of players who have been wildly successful...

“There’s a difference in the role that we’re gonna ask him to play, too,” Kerr said. “Minnesota needed him to be a star. And we’re not asking him to be a star. We’re asking him to play a role on a team that already has some star players. There’s a huge difference there.

“When you have to play that role, it means bringing energy every night more than it means putting up numbers. He’s very capable of giving us numbers, but what we need is energy and the commitment defensively and sprinting the floor.”

That kind of energy and commitment is exactly what has been lacking from Wiggins’ game. It’s exactly what drove Jimmy Butler mad when he was a Timberwolves player. So how is Draymond Green going to handle him?

Kerr also owned up to something everyone else talked about when the Warriors traded for D’Angelo Russell — the former Nets’ point guard (how in Minnesota) was not a good positional fit with a Warriors team that already had a Stephen Curry/Klay Thompson backcourt.

Wiggins is a better positional fit with the Warriors, and I would still rather have Russell. Wiggins is who he is at this point and the idea a shift in team and culture is going to change that seems foolish. Russell is the better player, he gives better effort on the court, and I will take that over fit.

The Warriors, however, have made their bet on their culture and players.