Andrew Wiggins made his first all-star game during the Golden State Warriors’ 2022 championship season. The former number one overall pick completely revamped his game on Golden State. He became one of the premier defensive forwards in the game while improving his 3-point percentage to near 40 percent.
However, Wiggins wasn’t on the court much last season with various injuries and a personal matter. He still had a solid season overall but with the Warriors’ season-long struggles, Wiggins was not an all-star. In 2024 Wiggins can re-solidify his all-star campaign and give the Warriors a much-needed boost.
As surprising as it is, Wiggins never made an all-star game on the Minnesota Timberwolves. He averaged 23 points per game (PPG) by his third season, but the Timberwolves just barely won 30 games. Everything changed for Wiggins once the Timberwolves traded for Jimmy Butler in the 2017 offseason. Wiggins became the third option behind Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns, so his production took a backseat.
By the time the 2020 season rolled around, Wiggins was the second option again in the midst of a five-year max contract. He bounced back and averaged nearly 21 PPG, five rebounds and 3.5 assists, but the Timberwolves struggled to win games and sensed a needed change.
The Timberwolves shockingly traded Andrew Wiggins to the Warriors for D’Angelo Russell at the 2020 trade deadline. Wiggins would get a fresh start that altered his career trajectory considerably.
Revamped Game with Golden State
Early on in the 2021 season, Wiggins’ game already looked different. He had the best shooting splits of his career in his first full season with the Warriors. Wiggins improved his 3-point percentage from 33 percent in Minnesota to 38 percent in Golden State. His field goal percentage of 47 percent was also a career-high.
Wiggins also greatly improved as a primary defender. He took on the best defensive matchup every night and used his length and size to alter shots. Stephen Curry now had the ideal wing to compliment him as Wiggins’ improved 3-point shooting and defense made him a great fit. The reduced pressure to score and create on Golden State seemed to do wonders for Wiggins’ overall game.
2022 All-Star Season
Despite Wiggins’ scoring numbers being down a tad from the 2021 season, Wiggins managed to make the 2022 all-star game. At that point in the season, the Warriors had one of the best records in the NBA. Wiggins was a major part of the Warriors’ success as their second-leading scorer and primary on-ball defender.
He averaged 17 PPG on 39 percent from three for the 2022 season, which are solid numbers that not many players can average. However, with the increased parody and talent dispersion in the NBA, some believed Wiggins wasn’t deserving of an all-star nod. Additionally, Wiggins was also voted in as an all-star starter, something largely unexpected when all-star voting results were released.
Even though his all-star selection was a little controversial, Wiggins helped the Warriors win the 2022 championship. His rebounding and defense were crucial, and he was the second-best player behind Curry. Without Wiggins’ improved play on the glass, the Celtics may have won the Larry O’Brien instead.
Fierce All-Star Competition
Unfortunately, Wiggins may have a tough time making an all-star game in 2024. The talent pool of forwards in the West is unmatched. Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Kevin Durant, Lauri Markkanen and Zion Williamson are a few names that come to mind.
One factor that could help Wiggins make the all-star game is the new games-played rule. There’s now a minimum number of games a player has to play to make the all-star game. If Wiggins stays healthy and puts up similar numbers, he could easily be an all-star. George, Leonard, Durant and Williamson have all struggled to stay on the court at times. Even though the competition has never been fiercer, Wiggins can definitely reclaim his all-star status.
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Featured photo courtesy of NBA.com.