Written by: Joe Ryan
All throughout the day, Andrew Wiggins name has been trending on twitter, in the news, and all for the negative reasons.
Obviously, it is being reported than Wiggins is unhappy about being the third option on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Apparently, Wiggins has been telling teammates that he is unhappy about the current situation that he is in, and would like to become more of a focal point for the the team that he was supposed to be the face of the franchise of.
First of all, I would like to say that I don’t think these words actually came out of Wiggins mouth. After following his career for about 5 years, I have come to understand that Wiggins is not the type of person to stir up trouble, or call anybody out. Wiggins is a level headed, mellow kind of guy. He goes about his business, gets his job, and then calls it a day. He never gets to excited on the court, and he never gets to upset. He keeps the same mindset, the same focus, the same face all the time.
So, do you really think that he is saying this stuff? I’m not saying the report is wrong, but I believe it came from a voice within Wiggins’ camp. Not his.
But even if it did, can anybody blame Wiggins? People want him to be more aggressive and take more control, especially with Jimmy Butler being out. And now that Wiggins is “saying” that he wants more touches and more responsibilities, people are blaming him? What is the logic behind that?
Don’t you want that out of the former number 1 pick? Don’t you want him to show the fire that he needs to play with. When people read these comments at first, I guarantee people said that Wiggins will demand a trade, or that these comments are a terrible time during the playoff push.
I actually think it’s the perfect time. When Wiggins is criticized or speaks out, he always backs up it up with play. The guy has all the talent in the world and when adversity hits, his game gets better. For example, in 2012 while Wiggins was in High School, the student section started to chant “OVERRATED! OVERRATED!” in Wiggins direction.
Wiggins erupted for 52 points that game, pointed to the silent student section and ran off with a win.
When people started to doubt his play at Kansas, Wiggins went on a stretch where he averaged 28 points per game during the last 4 out of the 5 games, solidifying the Jayhawks as legit contenders and solidifying himself as the number 1 overall pick.
When people said that Wiggins didn’t deserve to be the number one pick, and that it should have been Jabari Parker, Wiggins was the one who took home the Rookie of the Year honors, starting 82 games.
When people said Wiggins needed to take on more of a scoring role, Wiggins went from averaging 16.9 ppg, to 20.7 ppg, to 23.6 ppg, only in 3 years.
Wiggins became the 6th youngest player to reach 6,000 points and Wiggins, recently, became the 4th all time leading score in Minnesota Timberwolves history.
Like I said, when adversity hits, Wiggins responds.
Sure, I’ll defend Andrew Wiggins until his career is over and I’m sure I’ll defend him long after that. I understand that Wiggins could be and should be further along in his career, but does that make Wiggins a bust or a bad player? That’s actually laughable.
Andrew Wiggins is a VERY good basketball player.
His scoring has become so easy and so smooth and his major fault, his defense, has increased so much, that it isn’t much of a liability anymore. Actually, at times, it has become a major asset for the Timberwolves, and if people think I’m crazy, watch this.
This won the game for the Timberwolves.
With Jimmy Butler out, to no surprise, Wiggins has been stepping up for the Timberwolves.
All those stats better than with Butler. And I am not saying that the Wolves are a better team without Butler, they are not, but Wiggins does have a point. Wiggins production drops with Butler on the court. And people who say it should be easier for Wiggins with Butler, do me a favor and watch the games. Butler doesn’t get the wings open shots. He gets the big men down low, and whoever is at the top of the key for three. Those are the guys getting Butler’s passes when he drives. Not the wings.
The major stat is see there though, is the plus/minus. During Butler’s absence, the Wolves are clearly less efficient when Wiggins is not on the court, posting a -21. But when he is in the court, the Wolves are posting a +43.
I would think that’s pretty good and I would think that means the Wolves need Wiggins.
Also, show me a player who has had a tougher beginning to their NBA career than Wiggins. He was picked number one overall, ready to play with one of the best Point Guards in the world in Kyrie Irving, ready to take Cleveland by storm and then LeBron comes home. And then LeBron doesn’t mention Wiggins in his letter. And then the rumors start swirling about trading Wiggins. Media starts to swarm him, Wiggins gets asked if the Cavs even want him anymore. As a 19 year old kid, that’s tough. And then he’s traded. And then the coach that loved him, the coach that absolutely believed in him, the coach that traded for him because HE wanted him, Flip Saunders passed away. And that crushed Andrew Wiggins. That would crush anyone, but Wiggins loved Flip and that crushed him. And then Wiggins had to play a year with a terrible coach in Sam Mitchell and then going into his third year, he had Thibs, his 3rd coach in 3 years. How is there any sustainability? Or any groundwork? It is change after change.
Again, I understand that “hate”. I understand Wiggins can be frustrating to watch at times. But when the going gets tough, Wiggins responds.
And he will respond again.