The Minnesota Timberwolves kicked off their latest reboot by destroying the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday night, but another chapter also began in the career of Andrew Wiggins.
After five-plus seasons in Minnesota, Wiggins was shipped out to Golden State on Thursday as part of the deal that sent D'Angelo Russell to the Timberwolves. Shortly after the trade was made, Wiggins tweeted his gratitude to the franchise he debuted with as a 19-year-old out of Kansas.
But after scoring 24 points in his Warriors debut, Wiggins had some pointed comments about losing a lot in Minnesota and how glad he is to be playing for a winning culture.
"We lost a lot in Minnesota. So coming here, being part of a winning culture, it's different. Losing's never fun," Wiggins said. "Being here, you can tell by everyone's attitude, approach, everything that's everywhere, they're winners. That's something I've wanted to be."
To an extent, Wiggins' comments aren't wrong. The Timberwolves compiled a record of 174-286 and finished out of last place in the Northwest Division just once during his time in Minnesota. With four head coaches during that span, it's understandable if Wiggins feels like there wasn't a lot of winning going on with the Timberwolves.
But Wiggins was supposed to be one of the leaders to help pull the Wolves off the NBA floor and into relevance. He failed to do that.
Even in a 2017-18 season where the Timberwolves made the playoffs, Wiggins recorded his second-lowest points per game (17.7) coming off a contract extension where he "looked Glen Taylor in his eyes" and promised to show improvement. Instead, he looked lethargic and wound up ticking off Jimmy Butler to the point where Butler forced his way out of Minnesota.
Wiggins had a season-high five steals to go along with his 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting in his Golden State debut, which came in a 125-120 loss to the Lakers. Time will tell if it was another flash-in-the-plan performance from Wiggins or if the winning culture established in the Bay Area will help him reach his enormous potential.