Andrew Wiggins has been BALLING! The former No. 1 overall pick capped off his first All-Star season with an NBA championship and signed a four-year extension the weekend before the 2022-23 season started.

Wiggins’ improvement comes after he joined a Warriors team that allowed him to take a lesser role as a valuable third scorer and premium defender tasked with defending any opponent’s top perimeter threat. It’s the kind of role that’s allowed him to prevent anybody from saying he didn’t live up to his potential as Maple Jordan.

The rapid development caused Coach Steve Kerr to rave about how “confident” he looks this season and how he’s used his role on the ’22 title team to “springboard” into possibly having a better year than he did last year. During the Finals, Wiggs averaged 18.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game while primarily being a thorn in Jayson Tatum’s side. He also played tough defense against Luka Doncic and Ja Morant while being a go-to scorer late in the shot clock.

“I think (Andrew) Wiggins — this is I’ve ever seen Wiggs,” Kerr said. “He’s an All-Star last year; he helped us win a championship. I think he’s used that momentum that he gained a year ago to kinda springboard into this season, and I don’t think he’s ever looked more confident.”

“This is the best I’ve ever seen Wiggs.”

— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) October 24, 2022

As of Tuesday, Maple Jordan is averaging 22.3 points, a career-high 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game on 52.0 percent shooting from the field and 38.1 percent from downtown. It’s a small sample (three games), but it’s the type of production that justifies Golden State’s commitment to its future while prioritizing its veteran championship experience.

“Not only in his own game but with what we’re doing, the way we play. You saw the extra pass last night that he made to (Stephen Curry) for the three. He’s making those simple plays, but then he’s attacking when he needs to attack and playing just really efficient basketball, playing great defense. So a lot of good stuff, but we have to put it together as a team, and that’s gonna take some time.”

Draymond Andrew

— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 24, 2022

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