At this point, it’s literally just a matter of time before Cleveland’s blockbuster trade for Kevin Love is completed. And as far as Andrew Wiggins is concerned, he can’t wait.
Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, is the primary piece that Minnesota will get in return for Love. The Timberwolves are also slated to receive Anthony Bennett, last year’s No. 1 overall pick, and a future first-round draft pick.
One might think that any player would bemoan getting shipped away from a team that just added LeBron James, given the likelihood of ensuing success. But as Bill Self, Wiggins’s coach at Kansas, told the Associated Press, Wiggins is eager to provide the coattails on which others may ride.
“When all this trade stuff started, I talked to Andrew and Andrew told me, ‘I hope I get traded,’ ” Self told the AP. “And I’m like, ‘No you don’t.’ And he said, ‘Coach, I do. It’s better for me, knowing my personality and what I need to do, to go somewhere where I’m forced to be something as opposed to going in there where they’re going to be patient with me and I’m going to be a piece.’ “
Self can see what Wiggins meant. The swingman is hyper-athletic, but possesses a soft-spoken demeanor, and at times during his one season with the Jayhawks, he was criticized for playing too passively. It’s possible that Wiggins is just trying to put a positive spin on a disappointing situation, but it could also be a very good sign for a budding NBA star that he wants to develop into his team’s unquestioned leader.
“Even though in a weird way everybody would love the opportunity to play with LeBron because you’re guaranteed winning,” Self said, “for the longevity of his career, he needs to develop that mind-set to be the guy, for him to be great, and I think being Minnesota will help him do that.”