4 Missing pieces Warriors need to return to title contention

Golden State Warriors v New York Knicks
Golden State Warriors v New York Knicks / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
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2. Wing upgrade over Wiggins

Heading into the 2014 NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins was viewed as the best prospect since LeBron James. Wiggins possessed a LeBron-like blend of size and athleticism and could have arguably entered the draft out of high school.

Wiggins was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers, who later traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves, in a deal that sent Kevin Love to the Cavs to be the third banana behind James and Kyrie Irving. Wiggins had the opportunity to grow and develop in Minnesota, as he won Rookie of the Year out the gates and was a key component of the Wolves’ playoff drought coming to an end in 2017-18.

Wiggins was ultimately dealt to the Warriors after six seasons in ‘Sota and changed the narratives that had been flowing about him and the type of player that he was.

Wiggins made 47.7 percent from the field and 38 percent from deep- both career-bests- in his first full season with the Dubs.

In his second full season, he helped guide the Warriors to a championship, as he became an All-Star and the Warriors’ second-best player in the NBA Finals, averaging 18.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks, and a team-high 39.2 minutes per game.

Wiggins landed a $109 million contract extension following the Dubs’ title season and missed the majority of the 2022-23 season, in the first year following the new deal.

This season, Wiggins hasn’t come close to the player he was in his earlier years with he Dubs, averaging a career-worst 12.7 points  on 35.1 percent from deep, a regression from each of the last three seasons. In other words, Wiggins isn’t the same player anymore.

The Warriors will need to find a wing upgrade over the Kansas product if they want to capitalize on the last year’s of Curry’s prime.