Opinion: Wiggins Developing Quickly For Wolves
As a franchise, it was a tad risky trading for Andrew Wiggins because we traded Kevin Love, a 3 time All-Star, for a player that hasn't played a second in the NBA. But being the market that the Timberwolves' are in, the trade almost had to be done because high risk has the possibility to be a high reward.
We knew that Wiggins had incredible athletic ability and the ability to defend, but we didn't know how much of an effect that he would have on the offensive end. It will take Wiggins a few years to be a consistent offensive player, but what we have seen the past few games is something to look forward to. It's important to remember that Andrew Wiggins is only 19 years old, which means he can't even (legally) go to the clubs with his teammates.
I do not think Wiggins will ever be as good as LeBron James or Kevin Durant, but he definitely has the ability to be someone that you can build your franchise around. The Timberwolves have been worse than awful this season, mainly due to the injury of Ricky Rubio, but even though they have the worst record in the Western Conference at 5-27, Andrew Wiggins has been making great strides.
Although their record is 5-27, this year could be a blessing in disguise for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Yeah, Rubio's been hurt for a while, Martin's down with a broken wrist and Pekovic is down again, but because our record is like this it will give us a chance to land the #1 overall pick in next years draft.
Not only will we have a chance at the #1 pick in next years draft, but without our key players, Wiggins is the key player and he's been placed as the go-to player on our team earlier than expected because of the injuries, and maybe, that's why he's making his latest improvements earlier than expected. If all our players' were healthy this season, we would probably be somewhere in the 25-30 win range, which would probably put us at pick #8. I'll take a chance at the #1.
Maybe this is the year we draw a little luck!
As expected, Andrew Wiggins was a little gun-shy, and hesitant in his first few months as an NBA player. People (fans) made comments regarding Wiggins play that you'd think would be so stupid, it would be unbelievable, but Wiggins received criticism for his play during the first few months of the season anyways.
Wiggins did shoot about 40% before the month of January, which is a poor FG%, but his offense was the "rawest" part of his game entering the NBA and any fan that is realistic would understand that it will take time for his offense to evolve.
In the first 26 games of the season, Wiggins shot 46% (54/117) in the paint, but in the last six games he has shot 65% (34/52) in the paint. If Wiggins continues his recent aggressive play it would mean that he would attempt about 117 shots in the paint, in about 13 games. He's on pace to attempt the same amount of shots in 13 games (in the paint) than he did in 26 games.
In case the people reading this are the ones that called out Wiggins early on, his recent aggression is a good thing! Wiggins has also averaged about 21 points per game in his last six games.
Another thing that has been very noticeable is the way Wiggins is scoring. And no, I'm not talking about his points in the paint, or his the mid range jump shot. Some players' score differently than other players.
Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant will score, maybe 35 points any given night, but they often times have to take 27-30 shots to get those points, which is not effective. LeBron James and Kevin Durant score a lot too, but they only have to attempt 16 or 17 shots to get the same point total. There's a huge difference between the last two comparisons and Wiggins is scoring while being efficient his last few games. His game against Cleveland: 27 points/16 shots. His game against Utah: 20 points/15 shots.
The key with Wiggins is getting him to be aggressive. Yeah, he has a beautiful step back jumper, but that is just a lazy and contested move that lets the defense rest. When Wiggins attacks and gets to the Free Throw line consistently, then he will become what we hope a #1 overall pick should be.
And it may come sooner then expected!