Andrew Wiggins' Development Should Make Warriors Top Favorites to Repeat As NBA Champions

2022 NBA Finals - Game Five
2022 NBA Finals - Game Five / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

For the first six years of Andrew Wiggins’ career, he was labeled as a bust.

Experts said he was just an athletic wing, putting up empty stats on a bad Timberwolves team while falling short of his potential.

Then he got traded to Golden State. 

The perception, and actual development of Wiggins has grown during his time in the Bay Area. It’s because of his growth as a player that the Warriors can call themselves NBA Finals champions today. Now, heading into next season, he’ll need to continue to grow and shoulder more responsibilities to keep the Warriors as the favorite to repeat. 

According to consensus odds, the Warriors are the favorites to repeat as NBA champions at +600. The Boston Celtics opened at +650, with the Brooklyn Nets rounding out the top three at +700. The Warriors are obviously going to rely on NBA Finals MVP and 2-time league MVP Steph Curry to get them another ring, but Wiggins must be in that conversation as well. 

Wiggins was the second-best player on the Warriors during the Finals. He averaged 18.3 points and 8.8 rebounds on 45% shooting from the field. He had two spectacular games on the boards that allowed the Warriors to stay in contention. He had 16 rebounds in Game 4 and 13 rebounds in Game 5. He was as integral to the title as anyone else outside of Steph Curry can be – and he knows it. 

Wiggins has one more year left on his contract, but it’s likely the Warriors look to re-sign him to an extension this offseason.

With the former No. 1 pick in the fold providing rebounding and athleticism to the Splash Brothers’ and Jordan Poole’s shooting abilities, the Warriors should absolutely be looked at as the right choice as favorites for next season. 

You can find Donnavan Smoot’s full betting record here.