If you have not heard the phrase “riggin’ for Andrew Wiggins” yet, just wait. Once the NBA season rolls around, every team that puts up a lackluster performance will be labeled with this phrase. Obviously, only one team will be lucky enough to have their ping pong ball pulled first in June (or if you are a conspiracy theorist, the biggest market will pull an upset). Either way, one team will be a force to reckon with for at least the next five years. But, to the other lottery teams, they should not lose all hope if Wiggins falls through their grasps.
Wiggins is going to be a stud. There is no doubt about it. He is a genetic freak. He has raw athleticism, but what is more important is he has true basketball skill. He is the first high school prospect to be compared to LeBron James since he has entered the league and rightfully so. Wiggins averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 58 percent in his senior year. In James’ senior year, he averaged 30 points and nine rebounds while shooting 56 percent. Not only are their stats similar, their body structures are similar as well. Coming out of high school, James was 6’8”, 240 pounds and has a 7’0.25” wingspan. Wiggins is 6’8”, 197 pounds and has a 7′ wingspan. ESPN’s Myron Medcalf summed it up saying, “He’s [Wiggins] a member of that LeBron James genetic pool. The players whom competitors can’t simply overcome with hard work alone. They’re gifted. Unique.” But coming into the NBA, Wiggins will have an advantage over James. Wiggins will have one year of college basketball under his belt and in this year he will be able to polish his skills with the help of widely respected Kansas coach Bill Self.
Other teams, however, should not waver. The label should not be “riggin’ for Wiggins,” it should be “keen for ’14.” Just as the 2013 draft made organizations cringe, conversely, the 2014 draft is making organizations giddy. This year’s draft is being described as the deepest draft in years. There is a plethora of young talent eager to prove their skills in the big time. In fact, in Sports Illustrated’s top 20 draft prospects, only one player is an upperclassmen. This draft class includes a variety of positions as well as young talent. In the same draft board, the top 10 prospects consist of four guards, five forwards, and a center. Any lottery team would be just as lucky to draft Marcus Smart, Julius Randle or Jabari Parker if they fail to secure the No. 1 pick.
There are about six frontrunners, so far, that will walk away from the 2014 draft smiling. The Charlotte Bobcats, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings and Milwaukee Bucks all are predicted to have brutal seasons. Teams will never admit that they are purposefully tanking in hopes of a brighter future, but, the moves made by these front offices indicate that they are “keen for ’14.” All they are asking for is a year of suffering for years of success.