Andrew Wiggins trade 'key move' to Warriors resuming dynasty, Steve Kerr says

Kerr: Wiggins Trade "Key Move" Resuming the Warriors Dynasty originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Andrew Wiggins' vindictive dunk against Luka Dončić was perhaps the biggest talker Monday morning as sports pundits recapitulated the Warriors' 109-100 win over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.
However, Warriors coach Steve Kerr had the bigger picture in mind as he spoke to reporters in Dallas on Monday.
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He called Wiggins the button that pushed the dynasty on the bay to "continue" after consecutive injury-plagued seasons without a playoff absence since the team's last NBA Finals appearance in 2019.
"I think the Wiggins trade is key to all of this," Kerr said of Golden State's success. “I've probably said it many times before, but we lost so many full-backs after the [2018-19] season. Andre [Iguodala], Shaun Livingston, Kevin [Durant], Klay [Thompson] with the injury. Our entire wing core was defensively wiped out.”
Livingston retired after the Warriors lost in six games to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals. Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, and Iguodala left South Beach for two seasons with the Miami Heat. Thompson worked his way back after tearing a cruciate ligament in his left knee before suffering a right Achilles tendon rupture the following year.
At the 2019-20 trade deadline, the Warriors addressed their needs on the wing by sending guard D'Angelo Russell and two benchers, Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman, to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Wiggins and two picks in 2021 NBA draft.
"The deal with Wiggins has allowed us to start rebuilding that wing defense," Kerr said. "Wiggs was just so good, he's gotten so much better over the last few years. He fits in perfectly with our boys.”
At the time of trading, Wiggins was in the second season of a five-year maximum contract extension with the Timberwolves. Wiggins' talent on the court was undisputed — he was named 2014-15 NBA Rookie of the Year and averaged 19.7 points per game over six seasons in Minnesota.
However, doubts remained about Wiggin's efforts on defense and passion for the game. He was considered overpaid as Wolves' commitment to Wiggins failed to result in wins. Minnesota had just one winning season and one playoff appearance during Wiggins' tenure, both of which most credited to Jimmy Butler's arrival in Minneapolis.
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Wiggins has found his sweet spot in his second full season at the Bay. With just five previous playoff games before the Warriors' current run, Wiggins has impressed in almost every playoff game. His defensive efforts against Dončić were praised in the Conference Finals, as was his outstanding dunk.
"I don't know where we would be defensively without him, with his work on Luka and every other top wing we have to face," Kerr said. “He was just brilliant. I think that move was the critical step that Bob and the front office took to bring us back to a playoff-ready roster."
And Wiggins' playoff journey isn't over yet.
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Steve Kerr
American basketball player and coach

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