Golden State Warriors small forward Andrew Wiggins is coming into the season looking noticeably bulkier.
Photos of Wiggins show him looking more cut and muscular, a distinct difference from last season.
“I put on a couple pounds of muscle,” Wiggins said. “I definitely feel stronger.”
This is a great sign for the former No. 1 pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, as he looks to finally become a superstar in the league.
“I feel fast, stronger,” Wiggins continued. “Coming into the season, I feel the best I’ve ever felt, ever.”
Andrew Wiggins been in the weight room 😳 pic.twitter.com/MMy3HXDiLV
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) December 3, 2020
In 12 games with the Warriors after being traded, Wiggins averaged 19.4 points per game.
Now, the injury to Klay Thompson will push Wiggins to take the next step with the team.
This will become the true test to see if he is able to live up to his expectations coming out of college.
Not Living Up To Expectations
For any No. 1 overall draft pick, there are lofty expectations to live up to.
It can be hard for many of these players to ever escape critics that think that haven’t accomplished much.
However, during his time in the league, Wiggins has proven himself as a productive player.
While he has never dominated the league, he has nearly become a yearly 20 PPG threat on the wing.
In his third NBA season, he averaged 23.6 PPG and played in all 82 games with the Timberwolves, proving himself on the court.
However, he has failed to reach that same level of production since then.
On top of that, he was never able to lead the Timberwolves to the postseason in five seasons with them.
This led the franchise to trading Wiggins to the Warriors during last season.
Don't forget about Andrew Wiggins, a crucial component to Warriors' potential return to title contention
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) December 10, 2020
Now, with a new franchise, he is looking to take that next step forward.
The loss of their superstar shooting guard Thompson has opened the door for a new No. 2 option behind Stephen Curry.
Out of the players currently on the Warriors’ roster, Wiggins has proven that he can be a reliable scoring threat in the NBA.
Along with his scoring ability, his teammates are looking for Wiggins to become a true defensive presence.
Forward Draymond Green even said that he believes Wiggins has the potential to be an All-Defensive Team selection.
Draymond Green believes Andrew Wiggins can be an All-Defensive Team selection next season: pic.twitter.com/r3YHkfBxJj
— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) February 19, 2020
Because of this, there is no reason to doubt that Wiggins could take that next step.
If he able to put it all together, he has the potential to finally go beyond being a good second option and actually become a real threat for opposing defenses.
Will The Warriors Be Good?
While the loss of Thompson may have hurt the team’s chances of becoming a title contender, the Warriors have pieces in place to still be competitive.
Professional bucket getters.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 10, 2020
The additions of Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr. and rookie James Wiseman will give the Warriors a major boost on the court.
With Curry also returning from injury, the team actually has a lot of talent.
It will be a new look Warriors, but it appears that last season was just a blip in the radar.
They seem to have moved passed it and are looking forward to starting anew this season.
If Wiggins strength gain is any indication of how motivated the entire team is, look for them to be competitive in the Western Conference this season.