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#pounditThursday, May 30, 2024

Report: Warriors open to trading away important piece from championship team

Warriors coach Steve Kerr in a blue warmup jacket

Mar 20, 2022; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr encourages his players during the fourth quarter against the San Antonio Spurs at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

With Jordan Poole already banished to Washington, another key player from Golden State’s 2022 title team could soon be next to go.

Tim Kawakami of The Athletic said in a column this week that the Warriors may now be open to trading away veteran forward Andrew Wiggins.

“Though I’ve said in the past that the Warriors might be reluctant to trade Wiggins so soon after he signed a relatively bargain-rate contract extension specifically so he could remain with this team, I’ve since heard this would not be a major barrier for the Warriors to explore Wiggins’ trade market,” Kawakami wrote. “Especially if he can’t play with [Jonathan] Kuminga and the Warriors decide that Kuminga is their full-time small forward.”

The former No. 1 overall pick Wiggins, whose effort and motor were widely questioned prior to his becoming a Warrior, had seemingly found his perfect niche in Golden State. He was thriving in a complementary role for the team and was arguably the Warriors’ second-best player behind Stephen Curry in their 2022 championship run (taking on the hardest defensive assignments, giving great effort on the glass, and hitting shot after shot in big moments during the postseason when opponents helped off him).

But the wheels have completely fallen off for Wiggins this year, a nightmare that he can’t seem to wake up from. Wiggins is averaging a career-worst 12.6 points a game on ghoulish 43/30/70 shooting splits. He has been demoted to the bench by the Warriors as Kuminga, a younger, higher-upside player, now starts instead.

In fairness to Wiggins, he had to take a family-related leave of absence last season and hasn’t looked the same ever since. But reported frustrations are already starting to seep in for the Warriors with Wiggins, and it seems they will now consider moving the 28-year-old just one year into his new four-year, $109 million extension.

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