Philadelphia 76ers

Report: Andrew Wiggins Would Be 'Excited' to Play for Philadelphia 76ers

USA Today
Ben LeibowitzCorrespondent IIIJune 16, 2014

Now that the San Antonio Spurs have been crowned champions for the fifth time, focus around the league will shift to the 2014 NBA draft.

Kansas’s standout freshman Andrew Wiggins is a surefire top-three pick, and according to a report from Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears, he wouldn’t mind suiting up for the Philadelphia 76ers as a rookie.

“The 76ers own the third pick in the NBA draft, and Wiggins would be excited to play for them if selected, a source said,” Spears wrote.

The 19-year-old forward is set to work out for the Sixers organization on Tuesday, per Spears. He’s also scheduled to visit the Cleveland Cavaliers (who have the No. 1 overall pick) and the Milwaukee Bucks (who are slotted to pick second) later in the week.

It’s unclear at this time whether Wiggins will fall to Philly at No. 3 overall—bypassing Cleveland and Milwaukee in the process. That narrative is certainly plausible, but it’s interesting to note that the Sixers haven’t scheduled trials with other big-name up-and-comers.

Per Spears, “The 76ers have not scheduled workouts with other elite draft prospects such as ex-Kansas center Joel Embiid, ex-Duke forward Jabari Parker or Australian guard Dante Exum.”

The Sixers have been touting Wiggins dating back to March. ESPN Insider Chad Ford (subscription required; h/t CBS Sports’ Royce Young) wrote at the time, “In the midst of a 20-game losing streak, the Sixers have had Wiggins atop their board all year, and believe he’d be the perfect complement to Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel and Thaddeus Young.”

Perfect complement or not, Philadelphia doesn’t have a clear shot at drafting the youngster.

Mar 13, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Andrew Wiggins (22) laughs while on the foul line during the second half against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the second round of the Big 12 Conference college basketball tournament at Sprint Cent
USA TODAY Sports

If the Sixers want to ensure that Wiggins will be part of their future, it makes sense to try trading up. Philly could attempt to package the No. 3 and 10 picks as a means of vaulting up the board. Considering the value it could still get at No. 10, though, management may be hesitant to pull the trigger on a deal.

Bleacher Report’s NBA Lead Writer Jonathan Wasserman, however, believes that Philadelphia won’t have to move up to get their No. 1 target. He wrote the following in a recent mock draft: “No need for the Philadelphia 76ers to trade up here—they should be able to get their man, with the Cleveland Cavaliers thinking big and the Milwaukee Bucks thinking safe.”

Wasserman has Embiid and Parker going first and second overall, respectively.

With mutual interest between the two parties, a Wiggins-Sixers pairing would be an ideal match. It’s unrealistic to think Philadelphia will make huge strides following a 19-63 regular-season finish, though, because the roster will still be very young and inexperienced.

Nevertheless, the Sixers are poised to land another building block via their top-three selection. They continue to put their eggs in the Wiggins basket, so it will be interesting to see if he falls to them on draft day.

The more intriguing possibility, however, is what Philadelphia will do if he's off the board. That may not be a question the Sixers are ready to answer.

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