Newest Warrior Andrew Wiggins has struggled to live up to expectations throughout his NBA career, so it’s not surprising many league analysts and fans question whether his arrival from Minnesota in Wednesday’s blockbuster trade will only lead to more disappointment.
But there’s no doubt in the mind of Tom Thibodeau, Wiggins’ former coach with the Timberwolves for three seasons, this is a move Golden State won’t regret.
“It’s a great move for the Warriors,” Thibodeau said on 95.7 The Game of the four-player deal sending the small forward to the Bay Area for D’Angelo Russell. “When they get back to being who they really are, I think he’ll be a terrific fit.
“I think a change of scenery will be good for him,” added Thibodeau. “When you’re around Steph (Curry), you’re around Klay (Thompson) and you’re around Draymond (Green), I think that experience will really help him. I think that’ll help bring the best out of him.”
Some NBA players agreed with Thibodeau’s viewpoint, particularly Bulls guard Zach LaVine and Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones, both of whom took to Twitter to rave about Wiggins’ move to the Warriors.
“Wig about to thrive in Golden State. That’s a great fit,” LaVine tweeted.
Jones also believes playing with the Warriors will unleash the best of Wiggins.
“Wiggs gonna be scary in Golden State. Great fit,” he tweeted.
Nonetheless, most NBA followers agree Wiggins has struggled to approach the potential he had when coming out of Kansas as the top pick in 2015. Sure, he’s averaged a solid 19.7 points per game, but the book on Wiggins is he’s a volume shooter (his 52 percent scoring efficiency is three points under league average) who struggles from distance (career 33 percent 3-point shooter), and who struggles even more on defense (he has the worst defensive rating among qualifying players in basketballreference.com’s entire database.)