The No. 1 pick in the acclaimed 2014 Draft, Andrew Wiggins, was back with his college coach, Bill Self, on Sunday to help him run his summer basketball camp in a suburb outside Kansas City. While Wiggins didn’t address the media, Self said Wiggins had told him he hopes he’s actually looking forward to being traded, so he can find his own niche in the Association without the glare of LeBron James and the Cavs overshadowing his development.
A report earlier this week from Yahoo stated that a trade sending ‘Wolves all-star forward Kevin Love to the Cavs in exchange for Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round pick was set to go through when Cleveland’s 30-day waiting period expires on August 23. Wiggins signed his rookie deal with the Cavs in July and under the collective bargaining agreement, Cleveland can’t include him in a trade until 30 days have elapsed from the time he signed his contract.
While many feel Wiggins has been jerked around by Cleveland in their attempts to land Love, after he made it clear in an Instagram post today he’ll use any trade as a motivation next season, he also told his former college coach at Kansas he actually wants the purported trade to the ‘Wolves to go through.
By way of the Sporting News comes the report from the Associated Press about Self’s comments. Wiggins feels a trade to Minnesota will be better for his career in the long run because he’ll be forced into action, rather than taking a slower path to responsibility while inoculated by the bubble of star power already in Ohio.
Here’s what Self said about his conversation with his star recruit last season:
“When all this trade stuff started, I talked to Andrew and Andrew told me, ‘I hope I get traded,’ Self said. “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 [sic] Minnesota will help him do that.
“I think he’s handled everything great. He’s excited,” Self said. “I think the whole thing that’s been blown out of proportion a bit is that he’s been in limbo. He’s known since the summer that he’d be traded. It’s OK. In some ways he’s looking forward to going to Minnesota.”
Wiggins has been low-key about the Love rumors, and as we mentioned this morning, he’s taken all the speculation in stride while playing well in Vegas during summer league. He’s also remained impassive and patient during his various media appearances where all anyone wanted to hear about was the Love trade. His grace during all this Love hoopla has been all the more impressive considering his scant 19 years on this mortal coil.
For most, it would be hard to go from competing for a championship while playing alongside the best player in the world today to the rebuilding brand of basketball the ‘Wolves will likely have on the court next season. But as Self mentioned, the trade will kick-start Wiggins’ learning curve, and he knows it might be a blessing in disguise for him in the long-term.
Much like playing against NBA competition will sharpen Wiggins’ still-raw skills on the court, rather than undergoing another season against college competition at Kansas, once Wiggins is asked to carry a much larger burden in Minnesota, it could shorten the timeframe for his ascent to the all-star many feel he’s destined to become.
Does Wiggins really want a trade to Minnesota?
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