Sat. Dec 3rd, 2022

Andrew Wiggins has agreed to a four-year, $109 million extension with the Golden State Warriors, as first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, and confirmed by CBS Sports’ Bill Reiter. Wiggins, who was entering the final year of his contract, is now set to stay in the Bay Area through the 2026-27 season. 

This type of commitment was perhaps unexpected when Wiggins first arrived via a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2019-20 season. The former No. 1 overall pick, Wiggins had put up some big scoring numbers in his first few seasons but was generally seen as a disappointment given the hype when he entered the league. 

With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, and now the emergence of Jordan Poole, the Warriors never needed Wiggins as a scorer. But given his size, athleticism and defensive potential on the wing, he had all tools to be a perfect complimentary player alongside the Warriors’ big three of Curry, Thompson and Green — much in the same vein as Andre Iguodala had been during the team’s first title run. 

“The biggest thing was not our offense; it was our defense,” Steve Kerr said in an interview last year. In Durant, Iguodala, Thompson, and Shaun Livingston, Golden State had lost all its rangy wing defenders. “We desperately needed length and athleticism on the wing. For me, it wasn’t so much about how [Wiggins] might fit the way we play. It was, ‘Man we need a body like that.'”

Last season, Wiggins was exactly what Kerr and the Warriors envisioned. He made his first All-Star appearance and was arguably the team’s second-best player during their title run, averaging 16.5 points and 7.5 rebounds to go along with stout defense against elite stars such as Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum. 

In the Finals, Wiggins was phenomenal as the Warriors closed out the Celtics with three straight wins. He put up a monster 17-point, 16-rebound effort that was crucial to them stealing Game 4, then dropped 26 points and 13 rebounds in Game 5 and added 18 points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks in Game 6. 

At that point, it became clear that Wiggins wasn’t just a luxury for this team, but a key figure both for the present and the future. But given the team’s salary cap concerns, and other players such as Poole and Green up for extensions, it wasn’t certain who the Warriors would pick. This week, that became clear when they agreed to extensions with both Poole and Wiggins, leaving Green as the odd man out — at least for now. 

How those deals will affect Green’s future with the club — especially given his recent practice incident — remains to be seen. What is clear, though, is that the Warriors greatly value what Wiggins brings to the table. 

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