Andrew Wiggins to Make Warriors Debut vs. LeBron James, Lakers

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -  FEBRUARY 5:  Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against the Atlanta Hawks on February 5, 2020 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jordan Johnson/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors won't have to wait long to see Andrew Wiggins in action. 

The newly acquired small forward will make his debut for the Dubs on Saturday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, head coach Steve Kerr announced before the game.

The Minnesota Timberwolves sent Wiggins, a 2021 top-three-protected first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick to the Warriors in exchange for D'Angelo Russell, Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr believes Wiggins will be a solid fit for the team's roster, especially once Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson return to the fold, per Nick Friedell of ESPN:

"I think for most players, this league is about the right fit. There's some guys who are going to fit no matter what. The very best players in the game, they can go to any team in the league and they'll fit. But for the vast majority of NBA players, the fit is everything. We feel like the fit here is really good for Andrew. We have a hole at that spot. We've lost Kevin DurantAndre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston on the wing the last year. Klay's been gone all this year.

"So there's a position waiting for him. He's going to be playing next to three All-Stars at different positions—Draymond [Green], Steph and Klay. Guys who he'll really enjoy playing with. And he'll be playing with a group of guys who know how to win."

Kerr never saw Russell as a natural fit in Golden State, however. 

"To be perfectly blunt, the fit was questionable when we signed him," he said. "Nobody questioned that. When you already have Steph [Curry] and Klay [Thompson] and you add a ball-dominant guard, you can rightfully question the fit. It was one of the reasons the trade rumors started even before the season began."

Wiggins has never quite lived up to the lofty potential that made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. While he puts up solid counting stats—he's averaging 22.4 points per game this year and 19.7 points per game in his career—his lack of efficiency and poor defense have limited his overall impact.

This year, for example, he's shooting 44.4 percent from the field on 18.8 shots per game but just 33.1 percent from three. The Timberwolves have a defensive rating of 111.8 with him on the court and a far superior 104.9 defensive rating when he sits, per NBA.com

The Warriors are banking on a new environment bringing out the best in Wiggins (and landing a 2021 first-round pick was the crown jewel in the trade package anyway). But it could be an expensive gamble—Wiggins is owed $29.5 million next year, $31.5 million in 2021-22 and $33.6 million in 2022-23, per Spotrac. If things don't work in Golden State, the Dubs may find it impossible to move off that contract. 

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