Breaking Down What Makes Andrew Wiggins a Franchise-Changing NBA Draft Prospect
If you're putting together a blueprint for building the ideal NBA wing, he'd probably come out looking something like Kansas' Andrew Wiggins.
The hype surrounding Wiggins has been building for some time now. He's been pegged the heavy favorite to go No. 1 in the 2014 draft thanks to some superstar qualities coveted by every NBA team.
The NBA is a league driven by star power, something difficult to acquire for the majority of owners.
Wiggins has it and is a guy teams can feature as a long-term centerpiece.
He's one of the most complete prospects we've seen over the past decade at this stage in his career. Wiggins aces the three major tests that evaluators look for in underclassmen—the physical test, the skills test and the character test.
1. Elite Physical Tools
At 6'8'' with a 7'0'' wingspan, Wiggins has textbook measurements for an NBA-scoring wing. He's only 197 pounds, but so are most 18-year-olds. Check back and see what LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Tracy McGrady looked like in high school.
Wiggins has stunning athleticism that captivates viewers. It allows him to turn what would be difficult scoring angles for most into easy buckets above the rim.
The video below was taken during one of Wiggins' first practices with Kansas:
He's capable of skying above the trees instead of being forced to battle through them:
Wiggins has so much bounce that his armpit reaches rim level. It makes it a lot easier to finish at the rim when you're nearly two feet above it.
He also projects as an elite defensive player. We've seen him hound opposing scorers, using his long arms, quick feet and active motor to lock down the perimeter.
Obviously, the NBA drools over athleticism, and Wiggins has the maximum amount. But it's what happens when you combine it with Wiggins' offensive game that sets his ceiling above everyone else's.
2. Diverse Offensive Skill Set
Wiggins has a a diverse offensive skill set. He's crafty with the ball in his hands and has the ability to put up points in bunches.
He dropped 57 of them on 24-of-28 shooting in a game earlier this year:
Wiggins' ability to change directions with the ball and separate from defenders allows him to create his own shot at will. It's what makes him a projected No. 1 scoring option and potential NBA superstar.
He has every shot-making trick in the book. Wiggins can finish with touch on floaters, pull up off two feet or step back for a fadeaway.
Wiggins has a go-to scoring arsenal that helps drive his upside. He's a player you can give the ball to, down one, and expect him to get you a half-court basket.
Like every other 18-year-old, Wiggins needs work on his outside stroke, but he's still capable of taking over as a perimeter scorer thanks to unwavering confidence.
Whether he's 9-of-10 or 1-of-10, Wiggins appears to believe he can still knock down any look he gets. Check out Wiggins using a jab step before sticking one right in his defender's grill:
Potent scoring wings are rare and tough to obtain. Getting one usually means breaking the bank or dismantling a roster.
Half the teams in the league are looking for a go-to offensive player. And with ideal physical tools and a dynamic scoring arsenal, Wiggins looks to be on track to fill that void for a team in need.
Anyone who's ever coached, interviewed or interacted with Wiggins will rave about his character. He's a guy owners would love to bring in and post a banner of on the side of the hometown arena.
Wiggins has been in the spotlight since he was a young boy early in high school, yet he's maintained his focus and composure along with a desire to improve. While most have national-television specials to announce their college decision, Wiggins made his announcement quietly to one local reporter.
Wiggins seems prepared for fame and pressure. Coaches will view him as someone that leads by example on and off the floor. He has the elite physical tools and a polished offensive repertoire, but the fact that he's a great kid helps push him over the top.
There aren't really any wrinkles in the package he brings to the table. Wiggins is a zero-risk, super-high-reward prospect with the potential to change the direction of an NBA franchise.
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