Former Kansas star Andrew Wiggins was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft.
The Cavs announced the news following the selection:
Coming into his lone season with the Jayhawks, Wiggins was seen as the top talent in a loaded 2014 class. The Ontario, Canada, native then registered 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game to solidify his status along with other top prospects like Jabari Parker and teammate Joel Embiid.
Following his freshman campaign, several analysts still believed he was the premier player. Jeff Van Gundy of ESPN spoke about where he thought Wiggins ranked in the class, per Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"I like (Andrew) Wiggins from Kansas a lot," Van Gundy said. "I think he is a tremendous athlete who could play at the two and overpower people with his size and athleticism there."
David Locke, voice of the Utah Jazz, also noted how special Wiggins will be at the NBA level:
Just finished my 5th Andrew Wiggins game. The improvement from November to March is stunning. He is going to be special— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) May 15, 2014
Unlike many others in the class, Wiggins and fellow top prospects Parker and Embiid decided to skip the NBA combine. While he didn't show up in Chicago, Wiggins was still able to prove his supreme athleticism in the vertical jump.
The huge vert became a huge deal during the combine, featured on the P3 sports science Instagram:
Chad Ford of ESPN delved a little further into the iconic image:
The picture of Andrew Wiggins vert jump floating around? His agent, Bill Duffy, told me it's a 44 inch vert.— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 16, 2014
While Wiggins likely won't turn the Cavaliers around immediately, he adds talent to a young roster. Teams in the lottery are there for a reason, but he won't be able to completely turn around the franchise on his own.
With an ability to change a game with his lethal scoring and equally impressive defensive skill set, Wiggins has potential to become an All-Star in the NBA. When that potential turns into production on the court will be interesting to watch for Cleveland.
The Cavs drafted Anthony Bennett first overall in 2013, a pick that many already view as a wasted selection. The team will be hoping Wiggins provides the sort of impact that is expected of a No. 1 overall selection, even if he's not the next LeBron James.
As he develops his game further, Wiggins will need to strengthen his confidence as a playmaker and not be afraid to take his shots. His back-to-back performances against West Virginia (41 points) and Oklahoma State (30 points) toward the end of the regular season are evidence of just how dominant Wiggins can be when he's in his groove.
But as his 1-of-6, four-point showing against Stanford in the NCAA tournament showed, he needs to show that aggressive mindset more consistently. If he does, there's no doubt he can be one of the top young players in the league.
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