It is with great excitement and happiness that I write the following words: Andrew Wiggins is back. Well, almost. According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Wiggins is expected to return to the Golden State Warriors early this week.
ESPN Sources: Golden State Warriors All-Star forward Andrew Wiggins is nearing a return to the team and is expected to be back early this week. Wiggins has missed 21 games attending to a family matter. Huge boost for the defending champions and sixth seed in the West. pic.twitter.com/bQAw8ixINI— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 3, 2023
The news comes just one day after The Athletic’s Anthony Slater wrote that “there’s been some level of signaling” that the 2021 All-Star starter would return before the end of the season.
Wiggins returning is huge for many reasons. First and foremost it (hopefully) goes without saying, is that hopefully it hints at some resolution to the family matter that has kept him away from the team for more than a month and a half. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the reason for Wiggins’ absence has been the health of his father. I don’t like including that tidbit, since Wiggins clearly has wanted to keep the matter private, but since it’s already been reported it’s going to circulate.
The Warriors have given Wiggins complete space and freedom to deal with his family matter. https://t.co/9ADgB3Tsox— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 3, 2023
It’s also huge for the Warriors. The Dubs have been struggling, and after another inexcusable loss on Sunday — this time to the Nikola Jokić-less Denver Nuggets — the team is reeling, and in danger of falling into the play-in tournament. The return of their starting small forward will greatly help the team on both ends of the court.
Wiggins returning during the regular season is a big deal. Coach Steve Kerr has said that Wiggins has been working out on his own, so while he’s probably not in game shape, he is probably close to it. Getting to play a few games means he can get back into a rhythm and into game shape before the start of the playoffs (and the play-in tournament, if the Warriors have to play in it).
Golden State has three games remaining: Tuesday vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder, Friday at the Sacramento Kings, and Sunday at the Portland Trail Blazers. It would be awesome if Wiggins could return against the Thunder to get the home ovation, but at the very least, it seems like he’ll practice this week and be back by Friday.
Wiggins, who is averaging 17.1 points per game and shooting 39.6% on threes, has missed 22 straight games.