NBA AM: Is Wiggins The Next Big Thing?
The Next Big Thing: In the basketball world there is a never ending quest to find or identify the next big thing, even if that means prematurely putting labels on players before they have actually done anything. Andrew Wiggins is going to be that guy.
The Canadian-born Wiggins is a 6’7 forward who has one of the most dynamic skill sets of any player projected in the 2014 recruiting class. If there is a next big thing, Wiggins is likely that guy and he’s only 17.
Mike George co-director of the CIA Bounce AAU program Wiggins plays with during the summer says Wiggins, who will be a focal point of Team Canada for years to come, is taking all of the hype in stride.
“I think he takes a lot of pride in [Team Canada] because that’s where he’s from and he plays on the national team,” George said to Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. “He embraces the opportunity and challenge and takes it on. He’s got a very humble spirit about him. If you know his dad and his mom, they are the most humble people you will ever meet. A lot of that is inherited from his parents and his brothers.
“It’s a lot of pressure but I don’t think he thinks about it too much. He’s just a young kid who enjoys playing the game. If he could just play pickup five-on-five the rest of his life he’d be happy because he loves the game. Because of that he doesn’t feel the pressure.”
Wiggins has been rumored to be considering reclassifying to the 2013 high school class, which would fast track his path into college basketball and ultimately the NBA.
As things stand today he’s the top player on the 2014 prospect board and he has offers already from Florida State where his parent are alumni and Kentucky with John Calipari. Although George says nothing is decided yet, despite how things seem in the press.
“These college coaches need to stop assuming and take a chance and recruit him,” George said. “A lot of people assume that he’s going to Florida State because of his parents or Kentucky or whatever because it’s presented like that in the media. All of these assumptions are made but it has never come out of his mouth.
“These other coaches aren’t even trying,” joked George.
Wiggins is intriguing, not only because of his already polished and dynamic skill set but because of his work ethic.
“He won’t publicly come out and say much about it,” explained George. “But, I know if I talk to him privately he will say he wants to be the best.
“If you look at any of the best players like Michael Jordan and LeBron James, I’m not saying he’ll be like them, but you have to have that inner drive to be great like they do and he has that.
“I think his biggest strength is his ability to create shots and score in different ways. He’s super athletic, his second jump, I’ve never seen anything like it. His ability to score, even when he’s struggling with his shot he gets buckets and he can get rebounds, he runs the floor and he will get you assists because he’s unselfish.”
If there is such a thing as the next big thing, Wiggins might just be that guy.
If you have not seen him play yet, here is his BallIsLife Mixtape:
Who Still Has Cash?: With free agency all but winding down, there are still a few teams with cash to spend under the salary cap.
Here is the state of the salary situation in the NBA, click on the team name to see a detailed breakdown of every team’s cap situation:
|Franchise||Total Salary||MLE/Room||BAE||Over Tax||Cap Room|
|Golden State Warriors||$69,631,506||$150,000||$1,957,000|
|Los Angeles Clippers||$69,354,409|
|Los Angeles Lakers||$99,893,231||$1,590,000||$29,586,231|
|New Orleans Hornets||$63,415,014||$2,575,000-R|
|New York Knicks||$79,404,174||$9,097,174|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||$68,257,856||$3,326,396||$1,957,000|
|Portland Trail Blazers||$58,379,149||$2,575,000-R|
|San Antonio Spurs||$69,558,279||$500,000||$557,000|
If you want to bookmark this information, the data can also be found here: http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-team-salaries-2012-13/
Blatche Gets His Deal: Andray Blatche told HOOPSWORLD’s Bill Ingram on Tuesday that he expected to have a new team soon, and word is that he has agreed to a one-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets for the veteran minimum.
Blatche was an amnesty cut by the Washington Wizards and is still owed some $23.38 million from the Wizards including $7.18 million for the current season.
Blatche has been in Houston since being released by Washington working with John Lucas. Blatche is said to have lost roughly 20 pounds and is extremely motivated to prove his doubters wrong.
Blatche was said to be consider deals with the Miami HEAT and the San Antonio Spurs.
The official announcement on Blatche is expected sometime today.
The Bulls Working On Thibodeau Deal: Don’t let the process of making a deal cloud the reality that the Chicago Bulls and head coach Tom Thibodeau will reach a new deal this off-season.
The Bulls picked up their team option on Thibodeau’s deal at the end of the season, so he is under contract for this season. The two sides have been talking back and forth on a new deal and according to Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago those talks have resumed this week.
Oklahoma City coach Scotty Brooks, fresh off a NBA Finals run received a four-year $18 million deal from the Thunder which sets something of a precedent for a new Thibodeau deal.
The Bulls and Thibodeau have been very business-like in this process and while it seems like a no-brainer to make a deal, there is a process to how this goes.
So while there will be some level of debate on Thibodeau’s future, simply because it’s unresolved now. The reality is the Bulls and Thibodeau will reach a new deal, the question is for how much and for how long?
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NBA Chats: There are two NBA chats today starting with my weekly NBA Rumors Chat at 10:30am EST. Get your questions in now as the chats do fill up fast. Senior NBA writer Joel Brigham will host his weekly NBA Chat at 3:00pm EST. Joel covers the Central Division for HOOPSWORLD. You can always find the next chat here: Upcoming NBA Chats. If you are looking for a completed chat, check the Chat Archive.