Following the most successful year of his career in 2022-23, it was hardly smooth sailing for Golden State Warriors’ forward Andrew Wiggins last season.
Having previously played at least 71 games in every season (excluding the covid-impacted 2019-20 season), Wiggins was forced to deal with major interruption for arguably the first time in his career. He first missed time early in the season due to injury, and then dealt with personal issues post All-Star break that saw limited to just 37 regular season outings.
Golden State Warriors’ forward Andrew Wiggins has dropped ever so slightly in a latest ranking of the NBA’s best small-forwards.
In a recent article outlining the league’s best small forwards, Wiggins has been ranked 12th by HoopsHype’s Frank Urbina. That’s a drop of one spot for the Canadian who sat 11th in the corresponding rankings 12 months ago.
"“In a more normal 2023-24, we expect Wiggins to bounce back into his previous-season form, providing the Warriors with good one-on-one scoring, midrange shooting ability, elite slashing and versatile defense against some of the game’s best players”, Urbina wrote."
Wiggins wasn’t quite at his two-way best once he returned immediately at the start of the playoffs, although that wasn’t totally surprising given the issues he faced. The 28-year-old still played well enough, averaging 16.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks during the postseason.
The 6’7″ forward rewrote his reputation the season prior, becoming an All-Star for the first time before being the Warriors’ second-best player throughout their triumphant 2022 NBA championship.
While Wiggins couldn’t quite recapture his absolute best last season, there were no signs he can’t in the future with more continuity. The former number one overall pick projects as a key piece to Golden State returning to one of the league’s dominant championship contenders.
Boston Celtics’ superstar Jayson Tatum was ranked as the number one small-forward, beating out former Warrior Kevin Durant, Miami Heat leader Jimmy Butler, the LA Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, and Los Angeles Lakers’ veteran LeBron James.