In a rare display of self-confidence—that would have been interpreted as extravagant hubris for any outspoken player—the usually passive Wiggins sounded especially sure of himself while making an appearance on ESPN's First Take.
"I always put myself No. 1 above anybody else," he said, via ZagsBlog's Adam Zagoria. "That's just me. I got a lot of confidence in myself."
Don't worry. This wasn't some Wiggins lookalike spewing the type of aggressive aplomb we wish he always exhibited on the court. Wiggins was back to his usual, (overly) humble self in no time at all.
"I think for me, Jabari or Joel, I think we all want to go No. 1," he said. "But it's not the end of the world if we don't because there's been a lot of great players that ended up to be the best ever, and great Hall of Famers, that never went No. 1 and still had a great career."
There he is.
Seriously, though, Wiggins is an elite talent guaranteed to go in the top three. Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman has him going second overall in his latest mock draft. Fellow Kansas teammate Joel Embiid sits atop the board at No. 1.
One year ago, Wiggins was the unquestioned No. 1 pick. But as Wasserman explained in March, he failed to adequately distinguish himself from players such as Embiid and Jabari Parker this past season:
And that skepticism or doubt stems from Wiggins' on-and-off impact at Kansas. He can be great one week and lousy the next. He did have a rock-solid final month of the season, but Wiggins hit the 20-point mark only once since Feb. 1.
Even his best basketball just hasn't been that convincing. Since November, Wiggins has seemingly blended in with all the top prospects as opposed to standing out.
Potential pitfalls in mind, Wiggins remains the most talented player in the 2014 draft. Long term, he has the highest ceiling, given all he can do on the court when he's engaged and attacking (i.e. everything).
Where Wiggins falls on draft day largely depends on the order. The NBA draft lottery takes place Tuesday, so Wiggins should have a better idea of which club he'll land with then.
Many of the top lottery teams already have a primary big man in place. That's something to consider when wondering if Embiid will go first overall.
The Milwaukee Bucks have the highest lottery odds. There's a 25 percent chance they finish with the first overall pick. If Wasserman's prediction holds true, they'll take Embiid—yes, you should be offended, Larry Sanders—and Wiggins will be proven wrong as he drops to second or third.
No matter, though. Wiggins will still have something to celebrate in that scenario.
Avoiding the Bucks is reason enough to throw confetti and twerk his way to the podium.
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