For the second year in a row the Cleveland Cavaliers selected a Canadian born player with the first overall selection in the NBA Draft by picking Kansas small forward Andrew Wiggins. Last year’s G.M. Chris Grant shocked everybody by taking Anthony Bennett. This year the pick of Wiggins by new G.M. David Griffin does not come as a surprise. With the foot injury and surgery to Kansas center Joel Embiid, basketball executives figured Griffin would pick between Duke’s Jabari Parker and Wiggins and he did, with Wiggins being the choice.
Small Forward – 6′-8″ – 200lbs – Age – 19 – Kansas – FR.
Reach – 8’11 – Wingspan – 7’0 Max Vert – 44 inches
Season Averages:17.0 PPG-6.0 RPG-1.5 APG-44.8%FG-34.1%(3FG)- 77.5%FT
I asked Wiggins during a conference call with the Cleveland media after he was selected if the scouting reports on him not being aggressive enough on the court were fair? His response to that question was, “You won’t have to worry about that next year!”
When Wiggins was asked how good of a player he thinks he can be, he responded, “I think I can be a great player, I want to be one of the best.” He added, “That comes with hard work and dedication and sacrifice. That’s what I need to do to become the best.”
An athletic freak! His dad played in the NBA and his mom won medals in track in the Olympics for Canada, so his DNA is scary good. When you combine his 6’8 frame, 7-foot wing span and a 44 inch vertical jump, it’s crazy what he can do athletically on the court. His coach at Kansas Bill Self said he has the quickest second jump he’s ever seen, meaning he has the ability to bounce up and down like a pogo stick on the offensive boards and beat guys to the rebound for easy put backs. His transition game is above average. Imagine him filling the lanes on a fast break, getting from one end of the floor to the other and throwing down a tomahawk dunk!
He already knows how to play defense and wants to. How many college kids can you say that about? He uses that great athletic ability on the defensive end to guard 2’s, 3’s and some 4’s. So he’s ready to contribute right away on the defensive side of the ball.
Shoots it well from the free throw line and his jump shot is good, not a great. His pull up “J’ is solid, as is his intermediate jumper and he has decent range.
Penetrates well, has a very quick first step and the alley-oop out of bounds play is tailor made for him.
High character kid and a student of the game.
Must get stronger and add a few pounds to his frame.
His jump shot and his overall offensive game needs to be more consistent.
He can get lost in the shuffle out on the court at times because he needs to be more aggressive. Some teams are concerned that he’s too passive. That he doesn’t have that killer instinct or alpha dog mentality.
He needs to work on his ball handling which will allow him to attack the rim more in the half court set and make him a better passer. Going left off the dribble is a definite weakness and with his athletic ability he should finish better around the rim. But that should come when he gets stronger.
Has good form on his jumper, but it needs to be more consistent, especially from beyond the arc.
Reminds me of a taller version of one of the best two-way players I’ve ever seen in the NBA, Sidney Moncrief.
It looked like he was figuring things out at the end of the season for Kansas as he stepped his game up when Joel Embiid went down with a back injury as he had games of 41p-8r vs West Virginia, 30p-8r vs Oklahoma St., 22p-7r vs Iowa St. and 19p-4r versus Eastern Kentucky in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament. But his final game at Kansas was a clunker. In the 3rd round of the NCAA tournament against Stanford he was held to just 4p-4r on 1 of 6 shooting from the field in a 60-57 loss to Stanford. That left some people wondering how could he disappear in the biggest game of the season? But he also showed his true character after the defeat saying, “I let a lot of people down. If I would have played better, we wouldn’t be in this situation, you know? I blame myself for this.”
He will need to become more consistent, aggressive and attack more on offense if he wants to reach that superstar level. But he has arguably the most upside/potential of anyone in this draft because of his athleticism, ability to play three positions, he already plays defense, is a hard worker, with a high basketball IQ and on top of all that is a good kid who will take well to coaching.
Wiggins is my favorite player in this draft and his coach at Kansas Bill Self told me he’s going to be a “Stud” in the NBA!