In completely unsurprising news, superstar freshman forward Andrew Wiggins has told ESPN the Magazine that his freshman season at Kansas will be his first and last in college basketball. Wiggins reiterated that his primary goal is to win a national championship with the Jayhawks, and then he wants to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft.
The 18-year-old Canadian is widely considered the best prospect since LeBron James, and he is a near certainty to be the top pick if he does declare for the draft. Wiggins was recruited by every major program in the country coming out of Huntington Prep in West Virginia, and his decision to sign with Kansas instantly made the Jayhawks a top-five team for this season.
Wiggins is facing enormous and likely unrealistic expectations for this season, and it will be a huge challenge for him to tune out the noise and just play basketball. Wiggins is a gifted scorer and a versatile offensive player, but, like many young players, his defense still needs a lot work. He should be the focal point of Kansas’ offense from day one, and the Jayhawks still have plenty of talent around him.
In the NBA, there are several teams that have been accused of trying to tank this season for the chance to land Wiggins, and they are surely happy to hear this news. The Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns are the early favorites for the top pick, with the Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz also in contention. Wiggins would be a massive addition for each of these teams, and don’t be surprised to see any of them trade veterans as the season progresses.
It remains to be seen whether or not Wiggins can live up to the hype. He has yet to play a college game, so it is much too early to worry about him becoming an NBA superstar. However, his recent statements simply confirm what we all assumed, which is that he will be in the 2014 draft, likely as the No. 1 overall pick.