Joel Embiid’s injuries opens door for Andrew Wiggins to be top pick

June 25

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

Andrew Wiggins often dominated games in high school because he was bigger, stronger and faster than everyone else. He took over games with highlight dunks and great shooting while his athleticism made him a great defender, as well. As the supremely skilled wing player began his career at Kansas, he drew comparisons to LeBron James and Kobe Bryant — setting expectations sky high.

He just never quite put it all together at Kansas. Instead, we only got glimpses of sheer domination.

Wiggins had an offensive rating, a measure of personal offensive efficiency, of 140 (according to KenPom.com) in a loss against West Virginia and had a score of 150 in a win over Texas. Wiggins’s average for the season was a 112.3, and these are just two examples of his standout games.


Source: Shot Analytics

So what does Wiggins do well?


He attacks the rim well and his elite athleticism allow him to create highlight reel plays. If he’s fouled while going to the hoop, he shoots a solid 77.5 percent from the free throw line. He shoots a hair under 50 percent (49.3) on his two-point shots, but shoots an inconsistent, 34.1 percent from long range, despite a good shooting stroke.

Wiggins is just an average defender as far as creating turnovers and blocks are concerned, but his frame lends itself to being an above-average defender when combined with his athleticism.

Who drafts him?

Since the start of the 2013-14 NCAA basketball season, Andrew Wiggins was the consensus top pick in the NBA draft according to most pundits. Throughout the year, teammate Joel Embiid started to steal the spotlight and potentially the top spot. After Embiid’s injuries, it appears that Wiggins is the man back on top and headed to Cleveland on Thursday night.

Where does Wiggins fit best?

All the teams at the top of the draft could use Wiggins, but pairing Wiggins with Kyrie Irving and Anthony Bennett could be the place he could start winning first and therefore be the best fit for him. He will benefit from playing alongside and already established start like Irving so he doesn’t have to be “the guy” right away.

Brendan Darr loves sports and works as a producer at 106.7 The Fan for their midday show, Grant and Danny. You can follow him on Twitter: @BrendanDarr.

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Neil Greenberg | June 25