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Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors free agents express desire to stay

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SAN FRANCISCO — Amid the champagne showers that flooded Golden State’s locker room at TD Garden, Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins took to Instagram Live to share the celebration with their fans.

On the live feed, Poole looked at Wiggins and proclaimed, “You’re going to get a bag.”

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An uncontrollable smile spread across Wiggins’ face before he replied, “No, we’re going to go get a bag.” Poole repeated the same words to the camera.

Wiggins, who is heading into the final season of his 2017 $147 million rookie extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Poole, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, are set for contract extensions before they become free agents. next off season. They have until Oct. 17 to negotiate new contracts with the Warriors.

“I’d love to stay here,” Wiggins said Saturday afternoon in the Warriors’ exit interviews. “Being here is great. The way they treat the players… we’re all one big family. I feel like a lot of places can say that, but they show it through their actions.”

Wiggins came to Golden State in a trade that stemmed from the departure of Kevin Durant in 2019. At first, there were questions about how effective the trade would be.

Wiggins left the Timberwolves with a reputation that suggested he was lazy. Many didn’t think he was a hard worker or that he could have a real impact on the Warriors, especially one that would help them win another title.

But at the end of the season, the message from within the Warriors was that they wouldn’t have won without Wiggins. And he became the first player to earn his first All-Star and win his first title with the team he didn’t debut with.

“There was a lot of talk, people have something to say about every little thing, but now I’m happy I got here,” Wiggins said. “People didn’t think I could ever be in this position or even be useful on a championship team. But I’m proving the doubters wrong and I’m going to keep it up.”

Like Wiggins, there were many questions about Poole’s future. After his rookie season in 2019-20, some questioned whether he would have a future in the league. But this season, not only did he fill the starting shooting guard spot when Kay Thompson worked his way back, he also started in Stephen Curry’s spot for the final month of the regular season — and the first few games of the playoffs — before he created his own role as a sixth man.

“He definitely deserves [a new contract]Wiggins said. “Jordan is someone who works really hard, makes his teammates better, and can go out there and dominate.”

Poole wasn’t as definitive as Wiggins when asked if he’d like to return to Golden State, but he didn’t sound like he was eager to go elsewhere.

“If I’m going to be completely honest, I haven’t been able to understand anything about that process yet,” Poole said. “I was so focused on the championship. We know it’s going to happen, we put ourselves in situations to be successful and everything else will take care of itself.”

While signing Wiggins and Poole to extensions would be a move to prevent them from becoming free agents next summer, the Warriors have several free agents this offseason.

Gary Payton II, Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney, Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica, Damion Lee and Chris Chiozza will be unrestricted free agents. Only Juan Toscano-Anderson and Quinndary Weatherspoon will be restricted free agents.

Of the upcoming free agents who were available for exit interviews, all expressed a desire to remain in Golden State.

Payton, who became a key player for the Warriors after being ranked 15th on the list at the start of the season, said he “absolutely” would like to stay with Golden State.

An officer who has spent most of his career in the G League and been dropped from five different teams, Payton said he hopes this summer will be the first time he picks where he ends up.

After Looney’s breakout season that saw him play in every regular-season and playoff game, he said he “definitely” wants to return to the team that drafted him.

“I always want to come back here,” Looney said. “I want to go back and try to defend what we just won and be a part of something special again.”

Porter signed a one-year deal with the Warriors to bring a veteran presence to the team. When he joined last summer, he saw winning a title as a possible result, and now that it has happened, he too expressed a desire to come back for more.

“I know this team can get back in contention for another championship and it would be a great opportunity if I could stay here,” Porter said. “It would be awesome to be here with that group of guys again and do it all over again.”

Whether the Warriors can retain all of these players remains to be seen. They are already the biggest spenders in the league.

But clearly there is a mutual desire between the front office and the players to have a similar roster from this championship year heading into next season.

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