Offseason workout videos are supposed to be impressive. These are the best basketball players in the world, they’re playing against air or dummy defense, and honing difficult moves that will seldom be utilized in real competition. Then, there’s this: When’s the last time a summer highlight clip contained a miss?
In a vast majority of cases, it just doesn’t make sense to glean legitimate excitement about a player’s future prospects from a workout video. But there are always exceptions to rules, and Andrew Wiggins routinely serves as that rare outlier. This instance is no different.
Years of crazy high school hype rendered opinions on the Canadian sensation’s game irresponsible. He was never LeBron James or anything close to it, let alone a preternaturally polished offensive player like Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Durant. What Wiggins has forever been and still remains is an otherworldly athlete with a burgeoning package of impressive two-way skills. The many who expected him to light up the scoreboard in his lone collegiate year at Kansas or be a consistent impact player during his award-winning rookie season with the Minnesota Timberwolves were missing what should have been so obvious: Wiggins was still growing into his body and game.
That will prove true for the next several years, too. A player’s prime normally begins in his mid-to-late 20s, and Wiggins still has more than half a decade to reach that career arc. What the 20-year-old shows in the video above, though, is a tantalizing glimpse of the superstar he seems destined to become.
It’s impossible to put a ceiling on Wiggins’ potential. The progress he made from start to finish of 2014-15 was something close to remarkable, and how he did it was wholly surprising. Wiggins emerged as one of basketball’s best post-up wings last year, and exhibited flashes of playmaking comfort over Minnesota’s doldrums of March and April. And though his early success from beyond the arc dissipated as the year continued, Wiggins is a natural enough shooter to believe his three-point shot will eventually be a weapon.
What would always decide just how good he could be is the 6-foot-8 thoroughbred’s handle. Wiggins is blessed with an incredibly quick and long first step, an attribute that allows him to blow-by defenders with relative ease. He’s already an execeptional straight-line penetrator. The next step in his development is wiggle that allows driving from side-to-side, and ballhandling is the aspect from which it stems.
The coordination, fluidity, and power that Wiggins shows in this video is extremely encouraging from that perspective. It’s what a kid becoming a man looks like, and indicative of just how far he still has to go to scrape such immense potential. Yet if the many early returns from his infantile career are any indication, Wiggins is on track to doing just that.
[Via Andrew Wiggins]