Wiggins blossomed as a key part of the Warriors’ championship run and can now quiet all of the haters who have come after him through the years.
“Holding a grudge and I’m taking it far,” Wiggins tweeted with a picture of himself flexing after a play.
Wiggins also talked to Complex Sports about his turnaround season and the consistent criticism he’s received.
“When they talk it’s all motivation,” Wiggins told Complex. “When I first got here, everyone had something to say, now everyone is quiet. It’s good to just make those guys kick rocks.”
Wiggins was praised during the Warriors’ title run for his transformation into an all-around player, producing on both ends of the court and committing himself to grabbing rebounds. And the championship was the icing on the cake for the former top overall pick, who was named an All-Star for the first time in his career.
“He’s definitely confident, he’s definitely enjoying the playoffs,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “He loves the challenge, he loves the competition. He’s found such a crucial role on this team. I think that empowers him. He knows how much we need him. He’s been fantastic.”
Warriors Committed to Bringing Back Wiggins
The Warriors already have some hefty salaries on the books but are committed to trying to extend Wiggins before next season.
Wiggins averaged 17.2 points on 46.6 percent shooting and 4.5 rebounds in the regular season. He also stepped up on the biggest stage for the Warriors, averaging 18.3 points, 8.8 rebounds in 39.3 minutes per game in the Finals. Both he and standout young gun guard Jordan Poole will be priorities for Golden State this offseason.
“All these negotiations take on a life of their own,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said. “They’re all different. But I know with a guy like Jordan, usually, those things come down to kind of training camp and end-of-the-line deadline. … We’re a long way from figuring out what Andrew wants and what his agent wants, but I do know what we want. We want to keep him, and we’re going to make every effort to keep both those guys. They were huge for us.”
Wiggins Would Like to Stay With Golden State
Wiggins could be in line for a max deal, which would pay him as high as $36.6 million annually. If he can’t come to a deal with the Warriors, he’ll have suitors when he does hit the open market after next season. However, his stock has never been higher and it’d be in everyone’s best interest for him to stick around the Bay Area.
“I would love to stay here,” Wiggins said during the Warriors’ exit interviews. “Being here, this is top-notch. The way they treat the players … we’re all one big family. I feel like a lot of places may say that, but they show it through their actions.”
The Warriors also have some free agents to deal with. Gary Payton II, Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney, Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica, Damion Lee and Chris Chiozza will all be unrestricted free agents, while Juan Toscano-Anderson and Quinndary Weatherspoon will be restricted free agents.