Possibly the most marveled about prospect coming out of high school just a year ago, Andrew Wiggins is now rapidly approaching the day that he will be selected in the NBA Draft. After all of the hype surrounding him, it appeared as if Wiggins was not going to live up to it. People immediately began writing him off early in the season, while he was still adjusting to the college tempo and style of play. Certainly shocking how all of his supporters turned into his biggest critics in a blink of an eye.
However, as of late, Wiggins has proved to the nation why he deserved all of the hype that was built around him. His explosiveness is like no other at the collegiate level today and although his shot is not fully there yet, it appears as if it is coming along. Possibly his two best games came this season when the Kansas Jayhawks faced off against the Iowa State Cyclones. In the first matchup, Wiggins grabbed an unbelievable 19 rebounds, something that is uncharacteristic to do at a height of only 6′ 8″. During the second matchup, Wiggins showed off more of his scoring ability as he scored his career high of 29 points.
Yes, players do have a night here and there where they go insane, but Wiggins has become much more consistent in the second half of the season. What we have to remember though, is that this kid turned 19 years old less than a week ago. To be playing like he has been playing at such a young age is something to be amazed with. His game unquestionably needs to improve as he is not the best ball-handler and is often times out of control. The potential for Wiggins though, is through the roof. His wingspan is slightly under seven feet wide, so the opposing ball handler is going to have an extremely difficult time when facing up against him. Offensively, Wiggins should not have many problems even if his outside shot is inconsistent at times since his explosiveness as well as quickness can make up for it. Defensively, he has the potential to be an elite defender, up there with somebody like Paul George.
The Los Angeles Lakers are in desperate need of an athletic, explosive defender. A player like Wiggins would be a perfect fit to fill the void at small forward. Los Angeles has struggled mightily all season to defend the league’s elite players and even though Wiggins will not completely shut these players down, he can at least slow them down at times. To do this Wiggins must put on some muscle, not something to be worried about, again because of how young he is. If selected by the Lakers, Wiggins may not immediately evolve into the dual threat that he is expected to become, but in a couple of years he can without a doubt help lead this team to compete. Kobe Bryant would be glad to have a young fellow to guide, perhaps even rub some of his attitude off on Wiggins as well.
If he were to fall to the Lakers in this year’s NBA draft, nobody in Los Angeles should be upset.