NBA Draft

Jordan Poole thrilled Andrew Wiggins quieted critics during 2021-22 NBA season

JP thrilled Wiggins quieted his naysayers last season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Andrew Wiggins was faced with expectations of living up to his selection as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Two months later, the Cleveland Cavilers shipped the former Kansas product to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a trade that involved Kevin Love.

In Minnesota, Wiggins was asked to carry the team alongside Karl-Anthony Towns. During his six seasons with the Timberwolves, the team only made the NBA playoffs once in 2018, losing in five games to the Houston Rockets.

Jordan Poole was more than happy to see Wiggins lift the Larry O’Brien trophy last season and knew what it meant to the Warriors guard, considering the many critics he had before arriving in the Bay Area as part of a trade in 2019, a list that includes former teammate Jimmy Butler.

“He was in Minnesota for so many years, and he got to carry that load, and it was good,” Poole told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke on the latest episode of “Dubs Talk.”

“It was cool to see, personally, for me to see how he can come over to our team, take a little bit of the load off his shoulders, and he can be himself. He can open up, he can be his own personality, and then he can go out there, he can perform at the highest level just to kind of shut all the naysayers up.”

Additionally, Poole notes that an NBA championship and shutting his critics up still isn’t satisfying for Wiggins. The 23-year-old stated that his Warriors teammate is improving his game out of the spotlight.

“I’ve seen the behind-the-scenes and the work that he’s put in in order to become a really high-level shooter,” Poole said. “It’s good to see that he’s around so many good shooters because he can learn and he can ask and he can add to his game.

“And just seeing how versatile he is. We know that he has a post game. We know he’s a good one-on-one player. We know he’s an amazing defender. We know he is extremely athletic. So now him just casually learning how to become an elite 3-point shooter, helping space for our team is just tremendous.”

RELATED: Andrew Wiggins’ 2022 NBA Finals should be Jonathan Kuminga’s study guide

The two-way guard will be part of the Warriors for many seasons as Wiggins and Golden State agreed to a four-year, $109 million extension in October.

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