The Golden State Warriors handled the Dallas Mavericks in a five-game gentlemen’s sweep in the Western Conference Finals.
What was the difference in that series? According to Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban, the difference was Andrew Wiggins. Here is what Cuban told Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report.
“I think he was the one who beat us, and I told him that after the series… We didn’t know what to expect or how Wiggs would step up, and he did.”
Mark Cuban on losing to the Warriors
—ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) August 17, 2022
“It was just guys who knew their roles, like an Andrew Wiggins. I think he was the one who beat us. And I told him that after the series, you know? We knew what to expect from Klay [Thompson]from [Stephen Curry] and from Draymond [Green]. We didn’t know what to expect or how Wiggs would step up, and he did.”
Wiggins was critical to the Warriors’ playoff run, averaging 16.5 points and 7.5 assists a game, playing well in his role and providing scoring and shot creation needed with Klay Thompson not at 100%. As good as Cuban thought Wiggins was against the Mavericks, he was arguably the team’s second-best player in the Finals against the Celtics.
Wiggins is extension eligible, entering the last year of the max contract he signed in Minnesota and pulling down $33.6 million this season. The Warriors would like to sign him to a number lower than that, but they face larger issues with Jordan Poole also being extension eligible and Draymond Green coming up for a new deal (not to mention the max contracts for Curry and Thompson). Even Joe Lacob and the Warriors ownership have spending limits. The Warriors plan to run it back this season, but keeping this core together for multiple years may get too expensive.
That said, Wiggins has become key to what the Warriors do, with the sort of impact Andre Iguodala used to have for them. If one Warrior gets a contract extension this summer, it likely will be Wiggins. Just ask Cuban why.