It took some time, but Andrew Wiggins is finally proving why he once entered the league as a first overall pick. The Warriors have found in him a vital piece to fight for their first NBA championship since 2018.

Before this breakout season in his career, many people felt Wiggins would be remembered as a disappointment. The Cavaliers took him first in the 2014 NBA Draft only to trade him right away to the Timberwolves before he could play a single minute in Cleveland.

His stint in Minnesota didn’t go well, but he eventually found his place with the Dubs, becoming a key contributor on the road to the Finals. Speaking to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Wiggins admitted that Cavs’ decision to trade him lit a fire underneath him.

Andrew Wiggins says he wanted to prove the Cavs wrong

I definitely had them circled on the calendar,” Wiggins said about the Cavs. “I knew exactly when they were coming for sure. I was ready. I wanted to show them what they were missing, show them I’m doing better over here.

That was my mindset back then. It was always fun and competitive playing a team that had traded you. It wasn’t an easy experience to go through, but I feel like that’s what kept me motivated and competitive.

That trade could have changed Wiggins’ career forever. But instead of feeling less valuable for it, he worked his way up to a competitive team like the Warriors.