In roughly one year, soon-to-be NBA commissioner Adam Silver will step up to the podium and announce Andrew Wiggins, a forward from Kansas, as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
Go to the bank and take out all of your money. Then, bet on Wiggins going No. 1.
Where will Wiggins be drafted in 2014?
Wiggins is one of the best high school prospects of all time, and there’s no question that he’s going to make a big impact with the Jayhawks next season. The Huntington Prep product from Ontario has dominated every single high school player who has tried to slow him down. He’s a remarkable talent and could be the next LeBron James.
While Wiggins has yet to even play a game of collegiate basketball, everyone is drooling all over him—and for good reason. Wiggins is a 6'8" forward who can play three positions, score from nearly anywhere on the court, dunk over any opponent and put his team on his back each and every night.
Kansas may not have the best recruiting class in the nation—that title goes to Kentucky—but Bill Self got himself the top prospect in the country. Wiggins will likely only stay in college for one year and then enter the draft, but it’s going to be one special year for the Jayhawks basketball program.
The Jayhawks should take care of all of the teams in the Big 12 and head into the NCAA tournament as favorites, with Wiggins leading the way. He will definitely be in the conversation for National Player of the Year and could take home a national championship as well.
Kansas has only had one No. 1 overall pick in the program’s history—Danny Manning back in 1988. Wiggins is bound to be the second Jayhawk to go first and also the second Canadian-born player as well, as pointed out by Michael Lee of The Washington Post:
Anthony Bennett is now the first Canadian to go No. 1 overall. The second will assuredly be Andrew Wiggins next year, right?— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) June 27, 2013
This year’s draft wasn’t filled with as much talent as there is expected to be next year, and most of the hype surrounds the incoming freshman class. As Chad Ford of ESPN writes (subscription required), Wiggins is one of seven potential freshman lottery picks for 2014, which would tie the record set in 2008.
While Nerlens Noel, Anthony Bennett and Alex Len were all talented prospects, among others, the 2013 draft class was very weak. Alex Kennedy of USA Today made a suggestion as to what Wiggins should have done last Thursday night—hinting that Wiggins is much more talented than anyone who just got drafted:
Andrew Wiggins should have showed up to the 2013 NBA Draft, sitting next to the stage and shaking his head at every single pick.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 28, 2013
Wiggins is a very unique player, as he doesn’t really acknowledge the attention he gets. As Eric Prisbell of USA Today writes, Wiggins wasn’t even aware that basically everyone in the country was watching him and that many coaches were recruiting him to go to a variety of top schools.
It’s expected that Wiggins will be able to handle the pressure. Sure, he’s going to an enormous basketball school and fans will be packed into Allen Fieldhouse to watch his every move, but he's done a good job of being a model player thus far. He admires Kevin Durant because of how he acts on and off the floor, per Prisbell. If he responds to his stardom in a similar fashion, Wiggins will be fine at Kansas.
We already know what he’s capable of doing on the court, and he will quickly prove to scouts that he’s worthy of the No. 1 pick. Ford writes that he hasn’t come across a scout or general manager who doesn’t think Wiggins is the top prospect for the 2014 draft. That speaks to how talented the forward truly is.
Wiggins will be a star at Kansas and will be the first overall selection in the 2014 NBA draft. It may seem crazy to say that this early, and while Wiggins has zero experience in college, he deserves all of the hype. He’s earned it.