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In Andrew Wiggins’ absence, how competitive will Warriors be?

All-Star Wiggs is a key piece to GSW’s title hopes.

2022 Golden State Warriors Victory Parade & Rally Photo by Josh Leung/NBAE via Getty Images

I have no idea when Andrew Wiggins is coming back from his absence due to an undisclosed private matter. The reason why is so unknown, some of the oddest rumors have been spreading about it on the internet.

I can’t speak on why he’s not with the team. But I can definitely tell you that in his absence, we see how much this All-Star’s journey from alleged bust to champion has been a major key to Golden State’s present and future hopes.

Remember when they didn’t believe in Wiggs?

It’s been well chronicled that when Wiggins first came to the Golden State Warriors, it was widely panned as a highly questionable move. Anybody remember when folks felt comfortable to ask questions like “Is Andrew Wiggins The Worst NBA Player of All Time?”.

There were some believers, as was well documented in a cult classic Dub Nation HQ article. That one featured me begging the world to give Wiggins a chance to play with a franchise that actually knows what the hell it’s doing, as opposed to the accursed wasteland that apparently is the Minnesota Timberwolves.

But there were many who were exceedingly skeptical as to whether or not Andrew Wiggins could actually play the level of high-IQ hoops needed to mesh with the whirring death machine that is the Stephen Curry + Klay Thompson + Draymond Green trio.

My how time flies. Wiggins went from a question mark to an exclamation mark, starting the 2022 All-Star game and then morphing into an invaluable running mate to the supernova Stephen Curry in the NBA Finals.

His timely scoring, heroic rebounding, and vice-grip defense on fellow All-Star talents Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in the championship round put to sleep any serious conversations about being best served to the Warriors as trade bait. Playoff Wiggs was born, and the rest of the league could only stare in slackjawed awe as Wiggins finally stamped good on his promise as the former #1 overall draft pick.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr tried to tell us last summer: THE TEAM WOULD BE DEAD WITHOUT WIGGINS.

Since Wiggins has been out with an undisclosed private matter since February 13th, the Warriors have continued their public staggering through the doldrums of the regular season. They’re 8-8 in the 16 games that Wiggins has missed. Now his star has taken another turn; as now he stands as an obvious missing link between Golden State’s epic championship parade last season and their even bigger title dreams of today.

Wiggins is a tremendous piece to the Dubs’ dynastic quest

It’s for sure not easy to repeat as victors. The last time they had a chance to repeat, it was for a threepeat...but injuries imploded their squad in the NBA Finals and followed with the departure of Kevin Durant.

The chance before that came in 2018 when they succeeded in running LeBron James out of Cleveland once and for all, with Durant grabbing the Finals MVP (his second with the Dubs). And the first chance GSW had a chance to repeat as champions was that 2016 year when they went 73-9 and then blew the 3-1 lead to LeBron James and Kyrie Irving’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

KD saw that failed repeat bid and joined with the team in the offseason to spectacular results. When Wiggins was traded to the Warriors, no one expected him to replace the elite skillset KD brought to the table.

Dub Nation would have been probably happy with a more athletic version of versatile forward Harrison Barnes, the guy who KD replaced in a supercharged Warriors lineup.

Wiggins’ status as an All-Star who came up big in the postseason has more than exceeded those HB expectations. This season Wiggins is averaging 17 points and 5 rebounds per game, shooting 39% from beyond the arc on a little over six deep bombs per contest. Golden State is winding the season down without the luxury of their athletic 3-and-D wing who can rebound like a 7-footer when the season’s on the line. Analysis: THAT’S NOT GOOD.

For a crucial take on the convo, please settle into Wiggins’ future hall-of-fame teammate Draymond Green sharing his thoughts on the subject as only he can:

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