);
Golden State Warriors

Fact or Fiction: Four questions facing Andrew Wiggins and the new-look Golden State Warriors

On Thursday, Andrew Wiggins will play his fourth game in a Golden State Warriors uniform.

His first three games couldn't have gone much better. Although the Warriors lost each of those games, Wiggins averaged 23.0 points on an efficient 57.5 percent shooting from the field.

The Warriors can only hope that's a sign of what's to come for Wiggins the rest of this season and beyond.

But is it realistic to expect Wiggins to put up those types of numbers? Is he capable of thriving alongside Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson like Harrison Barnes did? Could he be the key to the Warriors competing for a title next season?

Two members of our NBA.com Staff try to answer those questions and more with a game of Fact of Fiction.

The Warriors will turn Andrew Wiggins into an All-Star.

Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): Fiction. This says more about how much talent there is in the Western Conference than it does in my faith that the Warriors can turn Wiggins into an All-Star calibre player. Plus, it's hard to imagine any team in the Western Conference getting three All-Stars again anytime soon - and that's assuming Wiggins would get in over Draymond Green, who could get back to his All-Star ways next season when Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both return.

Carlan Gay (@TheCarlanGay): Fiction. It's so tough to make the All-Star team, so this has less to do with the talent and season I believe Wiggins will have when the Warriors are eventually healthy and more to do with the collective talent the Western Conference possesses.

However, if Wiggins is to make an All-Star appearance before he calls it quits on his NBA career, this may be the best situation for him to do so. His number may stay what they are right now, but he'll also finally have the wins to go along with them.

Wiggins will be a better version of Harrison Barnes for the Warriors.

Rafferty: Fiction. Here's the thing: I'm not sure comparing Wiggins to Barnes is the best way to look at this. It's an easy comparison to make - I did it when breaking down how Wiggins could fit on this team - but there are some notable differences between the two. First and foremost, Barnes is a far better 3-point shooter. He's also slightly bigger than Wiggins, making him better suited to guard opposing power forwards and some centres as a small-ball four.

However, I do think Wiggins will be a better 3-point shooter in Golden State than he was in Minnesota because he's going to get better shots. I also think that he could pack more of a punch offensively because he's a better playmaker than Barnes.

So do I think Wiggins will be a better version of Barnes for the Warriors? No. But do I think he could take the Barnes blueprint and become an equally effective or superior player? Absolutely.

Gay: Fact. I'm not discounting what Harrison Barnes brought to the table for the Warriors in their championship runs, but what Wiggins brings is more dynamic.

Can Wiggins shoot the corner 3 as well as Barnes did? Probably not. But if Steve Kerr and the Warriors' coaching staff opt to have Wiggins stand around off-ball as much as Barnes did offensively then they're doing themselves a disservice.

Wiggins is more capable of putting the ball on the deck and creating offence for himself and others than Barnes was - and with two of the greatest shooters of all-time who don't need the ball in their hands to be effective, Wiggins' playmaking ability should stand out as much as his scoring.

The Warriors will have the best record in the Western Conference.

Rafferty: Fiction. The Western Conference will be stacked next season and I have concerns about Golden State's depth. Expecting the Warriors to finish with the best record would be putting a ton of pressure on Curry and Thompson, both of whom will be coming off of injuries.

Gay: Fact. Don't be short-sighted and forget how great Curry and Thompson are. If you removed any team's two best players, they'd fall to the bottom of the conference.

If you removed any team's THREE best players, there might be a petition circulating to have they relegated to the G League.

The Warriors will not only get two All-Stars back next year, but they have assets that can improve their team in the offseason. I sure as heck won't be one to bet against them.

The Warriors will win it all next season.

Rafferty: Fiction. Even if they don't finish with one of the best records in the Western Conference, the Warriors will be one of the most feared teams in the league again if they make it into the playoffs, simply because they have Curry, Thompson and Green. I'm just not sure they have the depth to beat either the Los Angeles Lakers or LA Clippers at full strength, not to mention Eastern Conference teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics.

My answer could change depending on what the Warriors do in the offseason, though.

Gay: Fact. Again, I simply won't bet against this team. Two motivated All-Stars coming back to the court, with assets and a "no-one believes in us" mentality.

The last time we saw a team this much talent with a chip on their shoulders they ended up winning 73 games.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

jokic-murray-nuggets-nbae-gettyimages
What's next for the Nuggets?
Gilbert McGregor
#LeBron
Green calls LeBron 'greatest player in the world'
Kane Pitman
adebayo-davis-tatum-james-ftr-nbae-gettyimages
Discussing LA's potential Finals matchups
Gilbert McGregor and Kyle Irving
murray-092520-ftr-getty
Five stats that define Murray's historic playoff run
Scott Rafferty
#LeBronLakers
Epic LBJ performance sends Lakers back to Finals
Kane Pitman
#LeBron
Let's not take LeBron for granted
Gilbert McGregor
More News