2014 NBA Draft: Philadelphia 76ers Are Best Fit For Andrew Wiggins
Now that the unspoken assumption that Andrew Wiggins would leave for the NBA as soon as the opportunity presented itself has proven to be true, NBA general managers will be locked in on Wiggins’ every move. Over the next few months, Wiggins will undoubtedly be the focus of all of the pre-NBA Draft festivities, but only a few select teams will have a realistic shot at landing the heralded freshmen. One of those few teams happens to be the historically bad Philadelphia 76ers, and they are chomping at the bit to land a special talent like Wiggins. It wouldn’t seem Wiggins will be too thrilled being taken by a team that came one loss short of the worst losing streak in NBA history, but the 76ers are actually the best possible fit for 6-foot-8 Canadian.
The Sixers’ roster, in my estimation, has only five or six players who will find themselves playing in Philadelphia again next season. The only guarantees are rookies Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel and if the 76ers management were smart, Thaddeus Young would be kept off the trading block for now. The utter chaos that is the 76ers roster is the perfect storm for Wiggins for a couple reasons that I will elaborate on. He can have his own team, head coach Brett Brown is excellent with player development and expectations won’t be as high as they would elsewhere.
First and foremost, Wiggins has the talent and upside that shows he can be a franchise changing draft pick. Wiggins finding himself in Philadelphia would assure that he would be the focal point of the offense. The Sixers aren’t looking to draft anything less than a star player. With Wiggins in the lineup, the passing abilities of Carter-Williams would finally utilized by Wiggins’ offensive talent. The hype of the name “Andrew Wiggins” paired with his potential and how he can turn the franchise around will make him a fan favorite and Brown’s newest pupil to build upon.
That said, Brown is a proven player development specialist and his resume with the San Antonio Spurs speaks volumes towards that. Even during his inaugural season in Philadelphia, Brown has worked what you can call a miracle with Carter-Williams and has him looking like one of the NBA’s future elite guards. Despite not yet making his debut, Noel has also had tremendous development under Brown, gaining over 30 pounds of muscle and adding a mid-range jump shot to his offensive arsenal. With the athleticism and offensive potential Wiggins possesses, I can only imagine the superstar Brown can help Wiggins become.
Finally, the expectations placed on Wiggins’ shoulders would be much less severe if he found a home in The City of Brotherly Love. This is a direct result of the roster they currently have and how it will still be a diminished roster to kick off next season. Just as with the Seattle Supersonics, who are now the Oklahoma City Thunder after drafting Kevin Durant. Expectations were high of course, but the fans and organization knew a few more pieces were needed before they became competitors. The 2015 NBA Draft will be key for continuing to build the 76ers roster to build around Wiggins. The coaches, players, fans and organization all know this, and they won’t expect Wiggins to become their MVP overnight.