As long rumored and reported, former Kansas University guard Andrew Wiggins will begin his NBA career with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The NBA on Saturday made official the trade that sent No. 1 NBA draft pick Wiggins and 2013 No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett of the Cleveland Cavaliers plus Sixers forward Thaddeus Young to Minnesota in the deal that sent Kevin Love to the Cavs. The Sixers received Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved from the Wolves plus a 2015 first-round draft pick from Cleveland. The announcement was delayed because Wiggins couldn’t be traded until 30 days after he signed his $5.5 million contract.
“I am truly excited to welcome Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young to our team. Adding these young players, along with our No. 1 pick from this year, Zach LaVine, to our existing squad gives us a solid nucleus for the future.” Wolves’ owner Glen Taylor said.
Wiggins, who will wear his college number 22 in the pros, will be introduced Tuesday.
“Certainly he’s looking forward to going to Minnesota,” said Kansas coach Bill Self. “Everybody would love the opportunity to play with LeBron (James in Cleveland) which guarantees winning, but the whole thing is, for the longevity of his career, he needs to kind of develop a mind-set to be ‘the guy’ for him to be great. I think being in Minnesota will help him do that.”
Self said recently he could envision Wiggins averaging “15 or 16 (points) as a rookie.”
Former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “I think if Wiggins turns out to be a good player, it will set Minnesota back a lot. If he turns out to be a very good player, it’s a good trade. If he turns into a perennial All-Star, the Wolves hit a grand slam. Wiggins, in Minnesota, is going to get opportunities. He will be in a great offensive system, he’ll be able to grow and develop.”
The Cavs said fans who bought Wiggins jerseys could exchange them or return them for full credit.