In the season-plus he has been a member of the Golden State Warriors, Andrew Wiggins has turned that bust narrative around in a big way.
While there’s still some overall issues with Wiggins’ game (shot selection being one), he’s morphed into a consistent scorer, solid three-point shooter and elite-level wing. Last season alone, Wiggins averaged 18.6 points and 4.9 rebounds on 48% shooting from the field.
This has led to Golden State pushing back against moving Wiggins in a trade for Ben Simmons and other bigger-name individuals. That might no longer be the case given recent reports that Wiggins refuses to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
This is a personal choice, and we hate to bring it up in the context of basketball. With that said, Wiggins’ stance threatens Golden State’s success in 2021-22 due to a local mandate in San Francisco that requires proof of vaccine for large indoor events.
“The Warriors recently connected Wiggins with an Oakland doctor who understands issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy, sources said,” Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle reported. “The doctor explained the suffering and deaths she has witnessed in patients who contracted the coronavirus, sources said, but Wiggins remains unmoved in his decision against vaccination.”
The NBA is considering providing Andrew Wiggins with a religious exemption not to have to be vaccinated. However, the city of San Francisco has the sole ability to override said exemption. This has led to suggestions that Golden State might move the 26-year-old wing ahead of the start of the regular season next month. If so, here’s a look at four ideal trade scenarios.
Andrew Wiggins trade to the Toronto Raptors
- Warriors get: Pascal Siakam
- Raptors get: Andrew Wiggins, two future first-round picks
Local COVID-19 policies in Toronto are tricky in that authorities do require vaccine proof for individual attending large indoor events. However, there’s no information on whether players are included here.
From a pure basketball perspective, Wiggins actually makes sense for Toronto. He’s a native to the city and can help the team remain relevant after a down 2020-21 season. The idea of teaming Wiggins up with rookie No. 4 pick Scottie Barnes would form an elite defensive pairing. Add in Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr., and there’s enough scoring to go around.
As for the Dubs, they were linked to Siakam during the summer. For good reason. He’s still only 27 years old and is averaging 22.1 points to go with 7.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists over the past two seasons. The forward would also be a better fit in the frontcourt next to Draymond Green in comparison to the aforementioned Ben Simmons.
Andrew Wiggins trade to the Dallas Mavericks
- Warriors get: Kristaps Porzingis, Josh Green, future first-round pick
- Mavericks get: Andrew Wiggins
Porzingis’ injury history and albatross of a contract has him being viewed as a net negative on the trade block. He’s also seemingly unhappy with the organization and was previously linked to the Warriors in trade talks. While this wouldn’t necessarily be fair-market value for Golden State, Porzingis offers a nice amount of upside. It’s also important to note that availability is the best asset. That could limit what the Dubs receive for Wiggins given his vaccine stance.
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As for Dallas, adding a three-and-D wing to team up with Luka Doncic makes perfect sense for new head coach Jason Kidd. The Mavs struggled big time with perimeter defense a season ago. In reality, adding Wiggins to the mix would also give Dallas three capable scorers to go with Luka and Tim Hardaway Jr. The cost here is a future unprotected first-round pick and 2020 first rounder Josh Green, the latter of whom has no built-in relationship with Dallas’ new brass.
Andrew Wiggins trade to the Portland Trail Blazers
- Warriors get: C.J. McCollum, Dennis Smith Jr.
- Blazers get: Andrew Wiggins
There’s been a lot of talk in the Pacific Northwest of Portland moving off the 30-year old McCollum. The team needs to do whatever it can to keep star guard Damian Lillard happy. And in reality, this duo hasn’t been enough to lift the Blazers to championship contention.
Adding Wiggins, who is four years younger than his counterpart, would be a move for both now and later. He’s a much better defender, which is something Portland has struggled with. In terms of roster make up, Lillard, Norman Powell, Wiggins, Robert Covington and Jusuf Nurkic is nothing to sneeze at.
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The idea for Golden State here would be for McCollum to eventually play the two next to Curry. Once Klay Thompson returns, he’d take over for Wiggins at the three. Rounding out the starting five, Draymond Green and James Wiseman might be enough to turn this squad into a legit title contender.
Andrew Wiggins trade to the Philadelphia 76ers
- Warriors get: Ben Simmons, Seth Curry
- 76ers get: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, future first-round pick
Warriors owner Joe Lacob was just recently fined for tampering with Simmons. But it’s not what you might think. In his comments about the three-time All-Star, Lacob questioned a fit with Draymond Green in San Francisco. This stance could have very well changed with reports that Wiggins plans on remaining unvaccinated.
To be clear, this trade is questionable for both sides. Having two top-end defenders in that of Simmons and Green on the court would work for the Dubs. Even then, both are extremely limited on the offensive end of the court. That’s putting a lot of pressure on Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. This is especially true with Klay having missed the past two seasons to injury.
From Philadelphia’s perspective, it would have to move Wiseman and other assets for a better fit. It’s somewhat late in the process for that to happen. Either way, these rumors won’t die down. Simmons wants out of dodge. He prefers the Warriors. Something could very well happen ahead of opening night.