Warriors’ Steve Kerr Facing ‘Urgent’ Decision on $109 Million Star: Coach

Warriors Coach Urgent Decisions Terminate His… 

If you’re an NBA player, one way to tell what a coach thinks of how you’re playing is how many minutes you get in the fourth quarter.

And if you are Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors, the numbers should be a little worrisome.

Think back to last year, and Wiggins played 7.8 minutes per fourth quarter, third on the team. This year, that’s down to 6.2 minutes—seventh on the team.

The numbers on Wiggins are brutal. He is averaging 12.6 points on 42.1% shooting. His 3-point shooting has fallen apart, at 27.7% for the season.

He has been better lately—46.4% in his last seven games—but he has struggled with ballhandling and turnovers. He is still a very good defensive player but even on that front, he has slipped.

The on/off numbers attached to him are not entirely his doing, because the starting five has struggled in general, but they still speak a difficult truth: The Warriors are 5.8 points better with Wiggins on the bench than on the floor offensively, and they are 8.7 points better defensively without Wiggins on the floor.

Wiggins is an ugly -14.5 in his on/off numbers this year.

‘They’re being patient,” one Western Conference coach told Heavy Sports. “But with Andrew Wiggins, what are you going to do with him? I don’t know how patient they can be. It’s getting urgent. They have what it takes to be better than they are with the roster they have.”

Andrew Wiggins’ On/Off Stats Have Been Awful

Easier said than done, of course. Andrew Wiggins was a critical part of the Warriors’ 2022 NBA championship, and he is in the first year of a four-year, $109 million contract. No team wants to bench a guy 20 games into a contract like that.

Coach Seve Kerr still feels that he is a critical part of wherever the team goes next. His view is that, a quarter of the way through the season, there is still something to be learned about this Warriors group.

Kerr was asked this week about sticking with his starting five despite their struggles.

“It’s more big picture,” Kerr said, per the San Francisco Chronicle. “I think with Draymond’s suspension, we didn’t really get a chance to see this group for the whole quarter of the season that we’re talking about.

“It’s just been a weird year. A lot of different moving parts. I’m going to give it another chance here, and we’ll see how it goes.”

Moses Moody Could Be the Answer for Warriors

But the problem for the Warriors, as the West coach pointed out, is that both Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins have had their struggles, which means the team is struggling on both wings.

It might make more sense for Kerr to move Thompson to the bench and have him fill a sixth man’s role, but that could create locker room problems and undermine the loyalty Kerr has shown to Thompson over the years.

Wiggins is an easier move. And he has a ready-made replacement.

“Moses Moody,” the coach said. “It’s not that he is better than Andrew Wiggins, it is just that he is a better fit with what they have in that starting group.

They need a little hustle, they need that juice a young guy can give you. They have a lot of guys with a lot of mileage and sometimes when you drop a younger player, a hungry player, into a mix like that, it sparks those guys.”

The Warriors are 10-12. They’re in need of a spark. It’s a very small sample size, but the Warriors are 3-1 when Moody starts this year. A move on Wiggins and Moody could be the needed spark.




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