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The Golden State Warriors have reportedly engaged in contract extension talks with Andrew Wiggins as he heads into the last year of his contract.
Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic categorized Wiggins’ extension as the one “most likely” to get done on the roster but noted “nothing is imminent.”
Wiggins emerged as a priority for Warriors management after a sterling postseason that saw him, at times, step up and be the team’s second-best player. He averaged 18.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in the Warriors’ NBA Finals win over the Boston Celtics, highlighted by double-doubles in Games 4 and 5.
The 2014 No. 1 overall pick has seemingly found a home in Golden State, where he’s able to fit in a specific role that accentuates his positive qualities rather than being expected to serve as a franchise face. He’s emerged as a rugged defender within the Warriors’ team concept and ranks only behind Stephen Curry and Jordan Poole in terms of being able to get his shot up off the dribble.
The Warriors will pay Wiggins $33.6 million next season and can offer him a contract extension that starts at $40.3 million in 2023-24.
It’s unlikely Golden State will make such an offer. Wiggins, for all of his strides, remains a decidedly below-max player. He can still be inconsistent and aloof at times and still has not made huge strides with his efficiency despite being surrounded by better talent.
Barring some unforeseen post-Finals leap, Wiggins would not be seen as a max player if he were to hit the open market.
However, he would command an expensive below-max deal. Warriors brass will have to find a number that both makes Wiggins comfortable with his standing in the team hierarchy and does not come with a massive tax hike.
Golden State will have to make contractual decisions with Wiggins, Poole and Draymond Green in the coming months. All three players are eligible to become free agents next summer, and extending the trio would take the Warriors well beyond their already record-setting tax payments.
Odds are, someone will be left out in the cold. It just does not appear that person will be Wiggins.