If Andrew Wiggins is having a roller-coaster season for the Golden State Warriors, his cart is clearly on an upward trajectory at the moment. The former No. 1 overall pick just had what was arguably his best game of the 2022 postseason, and it was largely done on the strength of his defense.
Wiggins drew a seemingly impossible assignment for Game 1 of the Dubs’ conference finals series against the Mavericks, as Steve Kerr asked him to lead the effort against Luka Doncic, who entered the matchup with a postseason average north of 30 PPG.
Somehow, though, he was able to keep the perennial MVP candidate in check, as Luka went 6-for-18 from the floor and coughed the ball up seven times. Meanwhile, Wiggins added 19 points on the other end.
Nevertheless, the 2022 NBA All-Star faces an uncertain future in the Bay Area — regardless of what happens with the Warriors’ playoff run — as his massive contract finally reaches its conclusion next season.
Should Golden State decide that it can’t hang onto Wiggins, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley sees an opportunity for the club to reunite with an old friend by trading its starting wing.
B/R Proposal Brings Harrison Barnes Back Into the Fold
With his latest list of “hypothetical trades to shake up the NBA offseason,” Buckley focused his lens on the Warriors. Here, the hoops scribe addressed the Wiggins situation, proposing the following deal with the Kings:
- Sacramento Kings receive G/F Andrew Wiggins and draft considerations
- Golden State Warriors receive F Harrison Barnes and C Richaun Holmes
“Harrison Barnes helped usher in the play style that eventually fueled Golden State’s rise to the top… Barnes, who turns 30 later this month, has the talent and temperament to slide right back into a complementary role [with the Warriors],” wrote Buckley.
“His contract expires after next season, and when the Dubs are doing their long-term budget planning (Jordan Poole needs a new pact between now and next summer), they could see him as a more cost-effective option than Andrew Wiggins.”
Barnes averaged 16.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in 2021-22 while shooting 39.4% from deep.
Meanwhile, at 6-foot-10 and 235 pounds, Holmes would bring some of the size that the Dubs are lacking in their current chase for the title. He also has a more developed offensive skill set than current starting pivot Kevon Looney, with ability in the mid-range and as a cutter and finisher.
As Buckley intimated, this deal would also save the Warriors around $4 million next season — plus luxury tax dollars
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Porter Feeling Better
Although his counting stats this postseason don’t exactly paint the portrait of a world-beater, Otto Porter has been a giant part of the Warriors’ efforts so far. His net rating of 16.7 is the best mark on the team by a significant margin.
So, when he missed Game 6 of the team’s second-round series against the Grizz due to right heel soreness, there was a high level of concern about his availability going forward. Thankfully, the veteran forward was able to return for Game 1 against the Mavs, contributing 10 points and six rebounds over 23 minutes of play.
Better yet — he reported no ill effects in the wake of his comeback.
“I’m not really worried about it,” Porter said of the injury following Thursday practice, via the Mercury News. “[It’s the] playoffs so I have to play through some things but if it’s bad enough where I can’t put pressure on it then obviously I have to maintain it and watch it, but right now I feel 100%, feels good, feels strong.”