It’s no secret that the Golden State Warriors have had an underwhelming 2022-23 regular season, and the absence of star forward Andrew Wiggins has made matters tougher for the squad.
Fortunately, the 28-year-old is reportedly nearing a return to the team and will seemingly be back in action soon. It’s a huge development for the Warriors ahead of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.
ESPN Sources: Golden State Warriors All-Star forward Andrew Wiggins is nearing a return to the team and is expected to be back early this week. Wiggins has missed 21 games attending to a family matter. Huge boost for the defending champions and sixth seed in the West. pic.twitter.com/bQAw8ixINI
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 3, 2023
Wiggins has not played since February due to a personal matter. While it’s great news for the Warriors from a basketball perspective that they’re getting their star forward back, it’s also a wonderful sign on a non-basketball level that Wiggins feels up to playing amid his personal situation.
The one-time All-Star’s return is likely going to change the way teams perceive the Warriors in the Western Conference. Suddenly, Golden State’s rotation is about to look a lot like it did last season when the team won the 2022 NBA title.
But that certainly doesn’t remedy all of the concerns the Warriors have dealt with this season, and they’re going to have to overcome some major obstacles (like their 9-30 road record) if they want to emerge from a crowded Western Conference and reach the NBA Finals again.
Wiggins has appeared in 37 games this season, averaging 17.1 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest. Last season, his production was similar, and he earned an All-Star selection before helping the Warriors claim the championship.
The former No. 1 overall pick has turned his career around in recent years and seems to have found a nice home with the Warriors.
The Warriors have just three games remaining in the regular season, the first of which will come on Tuesday. That doesn’t leave Wiggins tons of time to get back into rhythm upon his return, though it’s certainly better than returning to action once the playoffs have already started.
It’s anyone’s guess as to where the Warriors are going to land in the Western Conference postseason field. The team could earn an outright playoff bid or land in play-in territory depending on how things unfold in the coming days. But with Wiggins on the way, Golden State has to be feeling pretty optimistic about its chances of making some noise in the 2023 postseason.