With the 2014 NBA Draft about a month away, I’ve decided to show a deeper look at the prospects that will be in this year’s class.
We all know how talented this upcoming class is, and how deep this class has been said to be. Below is the first in our series of prospect profiles, starting with Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins, a freshman out of the University of Kansas, has been rumored to be the top pick in the upcoming draft since his senior year of high school. If you seen any videos of him in high school, you would know why.
In one season with the Jayhawks, Wiggins averaged 17.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 44.8% from the field. A very solid season for a freshman in college.
The following is an excerpt from Wiggins’ profile on Draft Express.
Wiggins has everything you could hope for in a wing prospect physically, as he sports excellent size (6-8 in shoes) and length (7-0 wingspan), and is an elite athlete. His frame is on the narrow side, but will undoubtedly fill out as he matures. He’s incredibly quick and explosive off his feet, and covers a huge amount of ground with his ridiculously long strides, which allow him to get from the 3-point line to the rim with just one dribble, and makes him a lethal threat in transition (1.3 PPP, fourth best among DX Top-100 Prospects). His body control is excellent and he has a devastating second jump, which gives him excellent potential as an offensive rebounder as well.
Wiggins is very much an unrefined offensive player, but still scored a solid 21 points per-40 minutes as a freshman, even if his usage rate and efficiency were average. He’s for the most part a straight-line ball-handler, as the ball slows him down and doesn’t do a great job changing speeds or directions, particularly with his off hand, but is capable of getting inside the paint effectively regardless thanks to his exceptionally quick first step. Even though he tends to shy away from contact at times around the basket, he still got to the free throw line 7.9 times per-40 minutes, and made 78% of his attempts once there, which helped make up for his otherwise unpolished skill-level in the half-court.
As a shooter, Wiggins is somewhat of a mixed bag. His mechanics are very good and he’s a capable shooter with both his feet set or off the dribble, even if the results are inconsistent at this point—as he converted just 34% of his 3-point attempts on the year. His shot-selection leave something to be desired at times, he has a tendency for settling for long contested jumpers, but should be able to develop into a very solid outside shooter in time as long as he puts the work in.
Defensively, Wiggins is already extremely effective. His combination of size, length, lateral quickness and solid intensity gives him the potential to develop into a multi-positional lockdown perimeter defender in the NBA, particularly as he matures and gets stronger.
To reach his full potential, NBA teams will want to see Wiggins become more aggressive with the way he approaches the game. He has somewhat of a laid-back demeanor on the floor, which can be seen in the way he finishes around the basket at times, his tendency for shying away from contact, and his propensity for settling for long jumpers. He looks reluctant at times to just explode down the lane and dunk on people, which his physical tools suggest he should be able to much more frequently than he does. Part of that might have to do with his youth, lack of experience and strength.
To his credit, Wiggins only recently turned 19 years old, and is obviously nowhere near a finished product. His tremendous scoring instincts and defensive prowess give him outstanding two-way potential, and that, coupled with his incredibly rare physical tools, makes it very easy to see why he’s such a coveted prospect.
Matchups against the likes of Florida, Duke, Villanova, San Diego State, Iowa State, Baylor and Oklahoma State have given us ample opportunity to evaluate Wiggins’ very defined strengths and weaknesses as a prospect.
The following video is courtesy of Draft Express, and shows a more in depth look at the player that is Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins is going to be a top three pick in the upcoming draft. The Utah Jazz won’t have a pick until pick number five, unless they manage to trade up. Wiggins would be a fantastic fit in Utah and help out the rebuilding future. As great as it would be to be able to draft him, the odds don’t look favorable for the Jazz.