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Andrew Wiggins to face Cavs, LeBron

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Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) moves the ball on a breakaway against Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) moves the ball on a breakaway against Philadelphia 76ers guard Michael Carter-Williams (1) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien)

We’ve already heard an NBA legend by the name of Kobe Bryant sees some similarities between a younger version of himself and rookie Andrew Wiggins.

So perhaps we should’ve seen more comparisons for the one-and-done Kansas product coming.

Do we really need a detailed breakdown to determine whether Wiggins is better right now than LeBron James was when he was a rookie?

Absolutely not.

YOUNG LeBRON VS. YOUNG WIGGINS PPG RPG APG TOPG FG% 3-PT% FT%
LeBron James at 19
(2003-04: rookie season, 79 games)
20.9 5.5 5.9 3.5 .417 .290 .754
Andrew Wiggins at 19
(2014-15: rookie season, through 26 games)
12.0 4.0 1.3 2.0 .385 .364 .702

However, the power of the Internet and the folks at ESPN.com have provided just that. David Thorpe gives in-depth analysis of the future Hall of Famer, James, as a 19-year-old, and the future who-knows-exactly-what-he’ll-turn-out-to-be, Wiggins, on ESPN Insider.

None by NBA on ESPN

Obviously, as Thorpe details, Wiggins isn’t as powerful as James was back in the 2002-03 season, nor does the Minnesota rookie possess LeBron’s ball-handling and distributing skills.

The breakdown did give Wiggins the advantage defensively, and as a shooter, though — which serves as a nice reminder that, despite what we heard when he was in high school, the young Canadian simply projects as a different type of player than the guy who is better at basketball than anyone else on the planet. And that’s OK.

There at least is a method to this maddening exercise. Wiggins and James will play against each other for the first time Tuesday night — 6 p.m., NBATV.

Not only does this give Wiggins a chance to go up against LeBron, it also allows the No. 1 overall pick to face the team that drafted him and traded him away before the season began.

As Wiggins said in a piece for Timberwolves.com, facing Cleveland should motivate him — “I think that’s obvious,” he added.

Since scoring 16 points against the L.A. Lakers and drawing Kobe’s praises, Wiggins hasn’t broken the 10-point barrier in three straight games, scoring 9 at Washington, 5 at Boston and 5 again vs. Indiana.

We’ll see how he responds for this one, with far more observers anticipating the matchup and waiting to make more comparisons.


— Keep up with the production of all the 'Hawks in the NBA daily at KUsports.com.


— Follow @BentonASmith on Twitter.

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