Why Aaron Wiggins needs a bigger role in Thunder rotation

The stars are cemented, but the rotation needs tweaking for the playoffs. Aaron Wiggins is the answer for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs
Oklahoma City Thunder v San Antonio Spurs / Brien Aho/GettyImages
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The OKC Thunder currently sit second in the Western Conference standings with a 42-19 record. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is an MVP candidate averaging numbers not seen since Michael Jordan, while Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren round out a dynamic top three.

When they share the court this season, Oklahoma City outscores opponents by nearly 10 points per 100 possessions. 

Although the Thunder are not yet classified as championship favorites, they certainly have a legitimate chance to vie for the title.

In order for this achievement to occur, however, their rotation needs to be optimized for the playoffs. What does this process entail?

Aaron Wiggins needs a bigger role in Thunder rotation

First and foremost, Mark Daigneault must identify which role players will enhance the core’s strengths and mask their weaknesses. It’s about creating an ecosystem that elevates Gilgeous-Alexander, Williams, and Holmgren without siphoning away too many field goal attempts from them. 

One player, in particular, who fits this description is Aaron Wiggins, the 55th pick of the 2021 Draft.

At the moment, he finds himself averaging roughly 14 minutes per game and has only cleared 18 minutes in 14 of 58 outings this season. Based on his two-way play and style, it would behoove OKC to slightly bump his playing time.

An ideal range for him may be around 18 to 20 minutes per game. 

Today, we discuss exactly how Wiggins’ offensive and defensive strengths complement the stars and subsequently justify more time on the court while also pinpointing which players the wing should be sharing the court with for the vast majority of his playing time given his production.