When the Golden State Warriors acquired Andrew Wiggins in a February 2020 trade, they assured his camp he was going to remain with the team, ESPN's Zach Lowe said on The Lowe Post podcast (h/t RealGM).
People around Wiggins were reportedly "worried" that he would be flipped to another team after his trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the Warriors said he was there to stay.
"[Wiggins' camp] wanted some indication from the Warriors that they actually liked Andrew Wiggins the basketball player, and they got it," Lowe said (at the 58:35 mark).
Golden State was rewarded for its strategy as Wiggins earned his first All-Star selection in 2021-22, finishing the year with averages of 17.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He has been a key part of the team's run to the 2022 NBA Finals.
Wiggins averaged over 20 points per game in three of his first six seasons in the NBA, but the 27-year-old has become more of a complete player with improved efficiency and better defensive effort. He shot a career high 39.3 percent from deep this season, while his 5.1 win shares were also a personal best, per Basketball Reference.
The 2014 No. 1 overall pick joined Golden State in the midst of a lost season after the departure of Kevin Durant, with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson missing time due to injuries. The squad had the worst record in the NBA at 15-50.
Many expected Wiggins to be packaged in a deal for another star to pair with Curry, but Golden State held onto the forward.
The decision has the team four wins away from its fourth championship in eight years.