When the Golden State Warriors agreed to trade for Andrew Wiggins, a lot of people were skeptical at first, and for very good reasons. I mean, despite being a former first-overall pick, he was on a huge contract and had shown little-to-none signs of improvement over the years.
Others, however, thought that joining a winning organization with stars used to compete would bring out the best of him, and while he's far from an All-Star, it seems like they were right. He's been playing better than ever.
That's why Steve Kerr took some time to address all the good things he brings to the table for them, starting with his durability, as he's yet to miss a game this season, which is huge for them considering how much they've struggled with injuries since last year:
"There's a lot. One of the most impressive things is he just never misses a game. So valuable to be able to count on players night in and night out. It's like a baseball team having a starting pitcher who just eats up innings. It saves your bullpen. Same concept in the NBA. When you got a guy on the wing who never misses a game and plays minutes -- it's so valuable. That's number one," Kerr told the media, as quoted by NBC Sports Bay Area.
More than that, Kerr lauded Wiggins' improvement as an on-ball defender and shooter. He's clearly taken a step forward in both aspects of the game since leaving the Minnesota Timberwolves:
"His on-ball defense has been really good," Kerr said. "He's shooting the ball very efficiently. All in all, he's having an excellent year. He's getting more and more comfortable playing alongside Steph [Curry] and Draymond [Green]. As we go forward, it's just great that he's not only playing well, but feeling good about his surroundings, his teammates, the style of play [and] everything else.
Then again, Kerr knows that there's still some room for improvement for the former first-overall pick, but lauded his determination to soak in the coaches' input and keep getting better:
"We've talked about off-ball defense being the next step for him. He has a tendency -- like a lot of players in the league -- to be better on the ball than off the ball. We're really working hard to show film and remind him once his guy gives up the ball, he's gotta be vigilant -- aware of cutters, boxing out on the weak side. The great thing with Andrew is he's really so receptive to coaching. He's just a guy you can count on night in and night out," Kerr concluded.
You may or may not be a fan of Wiggins and that's fine. But he's quietly averaging 18.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.0 blocks, and 2.1 three-pointers per game on an efficient 47/40/70 shooting.