ESPN has released the first half of their annual Top 100 NBA Players List and the first of presumably several Golden State Warriors players has made an appearance. ESPN has ranked small forward Andrew Wiggins as the 77th best player for the upcoming 2021-22 NBA season. The article praises the former 1st overall pick for his improved effort and performance on both ends of the floor.
“One big question: Can Wiggins replicate his two-way effort again for the Warriors? One of the biggest knocks on Wiggins after being acquired by the Warriors was whether he would provide the consistent effort on both ends of the floor that wasn’t always apparent during his time with the Timberwolves. “Two-Way Wiggs” answered that question in his first full season with the Warriors — drawing praise from coaches and teammates for his ability to change the game on the defensive end. – Friedell”
Wiggins, 26-years-old, was previously unranked on ESPN’s list for the past 2 seasons. His most recent appearance came in at No. 70 during the 2018-2019 season. Meanwhile, his highest ranking was at No. 44 after he won Rookie of the Year in 2014-2015. During that season, he averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. During his first full season playing for the Warriors, he averaged 18.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in a different, yet more efficient role than he had with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Here’s some context on Wiggins’ placement on this list.
3 Players Ranked Before Wiggins:
80. Caris LeVert SG
79. Tim Hardaway Jr. SG
78. Dillon Brooks SF
3 Players Ranked Ahead of Wiggins:
76. Cade Cunningham PG
75. Joe Harris SF
74. Jusuf Nurkic C
*Honorable Mention: 63. D’Angelo Russell PG
Players Ranked at No. 77 in Previous Years:
2020: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope SG
2019: Kyle Kuzma PF
2018: OG Anunoby SF
2017: Gorgui Dieng PF
2016: DeMarre Carroll SF
Golden State should have more players joining Wiggins in the upcoming weeks leading into the season. What do you think? Is Wiggins ranked too high, too low, or just right?
For a deeper dive on Wiggins’ impact on the Warriors, I highly recommend this in-depth breakdown of his game by Joe Viray.