Listen, I understand unproven rookies with serious potential, are a premium. They look awfully nice as trade bait when you are in win now mode. With the Cavs inking LeBron James this week, speculation surrounding the team is that they are going all-in for Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love.
After finally signing LeBron, Cleveland opened up negotiations with Minnesota by offering Dion Waiters, Anthony Bennett, and a future first round pick. That alone will not be enough to land a player of Kevin Love's caliber which have led many to believe that if the Cavaliers plan to land Love, they will be doing so by having to fork over prized first pick, Andrew Wiggins.
I get why many would say "To hell with it. Let him go! Love is 25 and a premier talent." And while you would be extremely right, Wiggins could be too. Let me tell you why:
- Let me start out by saying, doesn't he remind you, even just in the slightest bit, as a certain someone currently on his roster? Yes I said it. He doesn't remind you a little of LeBron James? An absolute, athletic freak with not a great jumper? It's a very serviceable shot, but will get better with time. He is a little bit of a better shooter then LeBron was at this age. He's built just like LeBron was when he first came out. That doesn't remind of James, even just a little? Well it should because when LeBron came out of high school he was an athletic freak with an average, at best, mid range jumper. LeBron has worked hard to get to where he is as a shooter and his jumper has progressively improved year by year as has his three point shot. There's no reason to think that given his age, Wiggins couldn't do the same. Honestly, that's something that I could live with.
- Wiggins first step is already as explosive as anyone in the game. To go along with being an athletic animal, his first step to the hole is lethal. I wouldn't be surprised if this kid gets 6-8 free throw attempts a game, as long as he keeps this up. He shouldn't just settle for jumper's because he will get a chunk of his point's from the charity stripe. The second he drives passed his defender, someone else is going to have sag off of his defender and jump to Wiggins and he's going to end up getting fouled more often then not. It's a good way to get a good player into foul trouble. It's a good way to get yourself point's.
- He's a bright, intelligent kid who knows amd understands the game who won't try to overcompensate for somethings that he can't do. His one year in Kansas, he was expected to do way too much. He was expected to shoulder the load for s team with Final Four aspirations. That just didn't happen and in turn out too much pressure on an 18 year old kid. In Cleveland, at best, he may be the third option, which he will benefit from immediately. LeBron James will take the pressure off of every single person on the floor. Especially Kyrie Irving. But having to double and sometimes triple LeBron, you're leaving the floor open for the like's of Irving's sharpshooting and Wiggins athleticism to slash to the cup and LeBron's ability to pass, open. Wiggins could average 15 point's a game as a rookie, if not more because of this. Having him as your third option will certainly help his cause.
- Because he is literally built like how James was when he came out of high school, he's only going to get bigger, faster, stronger with age. With how trainer's are in all phases of building a player, whether that's in the weight room, on the court shooting free throw's, jumper's, three pointer's, and defensive drill's, the kid is only going to get better and better the older he get's. You don't pass up that kind of opportunity.
- Could you deal with the potentially having two LeBron's on your team in 3-4 year's? I think I could. End of that explanation.
I understand why Cleveland will flirt with giving him up in exchange for an already elite talent. But they are also convinced that they will have LeBron until he retires. But what if he decides to leave again when that second year of his deal is up? What if you do keep LeBron until he retires? You wouldn't want Wiggins to be his heir apparent? They have to play this one pretty close to the chest.
(How easy did he just make that look?)
There's also a reason that Flip Saunders wants Andrew Wiggins in a deal for Kevin Love. And I only listed a couple of them. I believe in turn, they will cave and Cleveland will put Wiggins in a deal for Love because they are so desperate for him, unless they can exclude him from a deal and a third party to the mix. Should Cleveland put him in a deal, I believe it would be an absolute mistake in the long run. I get it, Kevin Love is a can't miss talent that everyone in the league would want. He is 25 year's old with his best year's as an elite talent still ahead of him. But if Wiggins can live up to the hype and potential, he has the ability to become a player that's so great and I think that is something the Minnesota could live with for many years to come.