Andrew Wiggins is expected to be just the third No. 1 overall draft pick — and the first since Chris Webber in 1993 — to be traded before he plays a single NBA game.
Wiggins was taken No. 1 by the Cleveland Cavaliers in June, but he’s reportedly part of a trade agreed in principle that will send him to the Minnesota Timberwolves along with 2013 first overall pick Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round pick in exchange for All-Star forward Kevin Love.
Kansas head coach Bill Self, who recruited Wiggins and coached him as a freshman with the Jayhawks last season, said the 20-year-old welcomes a trade to Minnesota.
“When all this trade stuff started, I talked to Andrew and Andrew told me, “I hope I get traded,” Self told the Associated Press, via The Sporting News. “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.”
“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 mindset to be the guy, for him to be great, and I think being Minnesota will help him do that.”
Self is right. With Love no longer on the T-Wolves roster, Wiggins would immediately become the face of the franchise and receive the playing time needed for him to play at a high level right away. He’ll also be coached by veteran Flip Saunders, who has developed several All-Star caliber players in his coaching career, including Kevin Garnett.
Wiggins cannot be traded until Aug. 23, which is 30 days after his rookie contract was signed.
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