After several seasons, the Golden State Warriors have made it back to the top of the mountain by vanquishing the Boston Celtics to win this year's NBA Finals. And while much of the attention has been placed on Stephen Curry winning his first Finals MVP, Andrew Wiggins has earned everyone's respect by changing the narrative of his career to become a champion in his own right.
And as the hobby celebrates the great comeback story of the Warriors, collectors have rallied too to boost those Andrew Wiggins rookie cards in the market. We take a look below at his journey from languishing with the Minnesota Timberwolves to becoming an integral piece of Golden State's recent championship run.
Andrew Wiggins' role with Golden State Warriors
Right before he entered the NBA, a lot of people have been high on Wiggins to be one of the league's best players in the years to come. After being traded to the Timberwolves by the Cleveland Cavaliers, the young stud would put on a Rookie of the Year campaign for the Twin Cities by posting 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and a single steal in 36.2 minutes per game during his first season in the NBA.
After that first year in Minnesota, Wiggins would continue to play four and a half seasons for the Timberwolves. The thing is, the young forward never really reached his full potential. Even playing in a squad that had Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler during the 2018-19 season, the guy once known as Maple Jordan would ultimately leave an impression of an empty-stats player who didn't have any real impact on the court. Ultimately, Wiggins would go on to average 19.7 points on 44% shooting from the field and 33% from deep while making 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1 steal in his five and a half seasons in Minnesota.
During the trade deadline of the 2019-20 season, Wiggins was sent to the Golden State Warriors for a package headlined by D'Angelo Russell. That move was seen by many as a piece the Dubs acquired that can be potentially traded for another star or a promising player that can extend their dynasty. Turns out, the need for either one of those isn't necessary anymore as Wiggins fully integrated himself into Golden State's system and became one of its integral players.
Last season is clear proof that Wiggins has finally turned his career around with the Warriors. With the trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green in full action after a considerable amount of time, the pressure of being the number one option was removed from the young forward. In turn, this unleashed his true potential as a capable two-way wing that can perform at a high level on both ends of the court.
Crazy to think that Andrew Wiggins’ WORST statistical season since his rookie year (17.1 PPG) is his most impactful and important. Former 1st overall pick who was willing to accept a new role to win. Turned himself into an ELITE two way player pic.twitter.com/vaPnIikiEj
— The League Report (@thaleaguereport) June 14, 2022
During the regular season this year, the former Rookie of the Year averaged a steady 18.6 points on 46% shooting from the field, and 39% from beyond the arc while making 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1 steal per game. His impact on both offense and defense drew the attention of fans and critics alike, a development that culminated during the All-Star Game in Cleveland where he was named as a reserve for Team Durant.
But while his regular season was good, Wiggins' playoff experience this year was even better. In the Warriors' matchups against the Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, and Dallas Mavericks, the All-Star forward would take on the assignment of guarding the opposing squad's best player and containing his impact on the offensive end. Wiggins took on this role while contributing 15.8 points, 7 rebounds, and 1.7 assists during those Western Conference contests.
Andrew Wiggins’ major accolades. Underrated set of achievements.
#1 Overall Pick
Rookie of the Year
All-Rookie 1st pic.twitter.com/ZjTgg3Brnw
— WarriorsMuse (@WarriorsMuse) June 17, 2022
The real test, though, came in the form of the Boston Celtics as the Warriors faced them during this year's NBA Finals. In that series, Wiggins burst through the door and averaged 18.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game while guarding Jayson Tatum on the opposing end. And even though Curry won Finals MVP, Wiggins' two-way impact was a very important piece to the Warriors' seventh championship, one that has his rookie cards shooting up in the market.
The state of Andrew Wiggins rookie cards in the market
Wiggins' rookie stock in the market has risen well over the last three months. A Card Ladder graph covering the said period shows that his improved performance is being reflected positively by the market.
In the graph above, Wiggins' PSA 10 2014 Prizm rookie card has gone up by almost 86% from $42 to 79$. What's impressive, though, is that during the NBA Finals, this Andrew Wiggins rookie card shot up from $51 to a peak of $101 before settling down to its current price. Needless to say, his cards are reaping the reward as it trends up in the market.
The verdict on Andrew Wiggins cards
As impressive as the All-Star's rise on the court and in the market, it wouldn't be wise to buy those Andrew Wiggins rookie cards at the moment. They're currently at the peak and projected to drop during the offseason.
Those who have purchased Andrew Wiggins cards before the Warriors' championship run would do well to sell them as soon as possible. The window for his stock is short and collectors' interest should transition to other promising guys as the new season inches closer.
In any case, the wisest course of action is to chase a short-print, gem-mint, or low-numbered Andrew Wiggins rookie card so it can retain its value as the years go by. This, in turn, will help hobbyists if they decide to flip it when the right time comes.