Despite all of the Draymond Green-centered drama, much of the Warriors’ lackluster 8-9 start can be traced back to veteran wings Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson underperforming.
Green is set to return from his five-game suspension for putting Rudy Gobert in a headlock on Tuesday night in Sacramento, but the Warriors will still need more out of Wiggins and Thompson to get back on track.
Wiggins is averaging a career-low 11.8 points per game while shooting an abysmal 25.5% from 3, while Thompson’s 15 points per game is his lowest mark since he was a rookie.
Wiggins’ struggles in particular are difficult to square. At 28 years old, he should still be in the prime of his career. He was arguably Golden State’s second best player during their title run two years ago and inked a four-year, $109 million contract extension.
“As for Wiggins, sources told ESPN that after missing two months last season over a still undisclosed personal matter, he didn’t take the time necessary during the summer to get back into shape ahead of this season. His lack of physical conditioning annoyed some within the organization, a team source added.”
As Andrews also noted, Wiggins ranks dead last in effective field goal percentage on jump shots among players with at least 75 attempts, per Second Spectrum. On jump shots from 10 to 16 feet away from the hoop — in the often in the mid-post, where Golden State likes to position Wiggins in advantageous matchups — the forward is shooting 17.4%.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr has remained loyal to the starting lineup of Wiggins, Thompson, Stephen Curry, Kevon Looney and Draymond Green when the roster is healthy. That five, though, is getting outscored by 12.2 points per 100 possessions.
Thompson and Wiggins have earned the benefit of the doubt, and the Warriors will likely remain patient with them. It’s not even December yet; have plenty of season left to figure things out.