Name: Andrew Wiggins
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
2016-2017 Regular Season General Stats: 23.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 45.2 FG% 35.6 #P%, 76 FT%
2016-2017 Regular Season Advanced Stats: 16.5 PER, .534 TS%, 4.2 WS, 0.2 OBPM, -2.9 DBPM, -0.6 VORP
When you talk about guys that you’re waiting to turn that next corner, Andrew Wiggins has been in that category for quite some time. A lot of people have been expecting Wiggins to emerge as a star in the NBA and that quite hasn’t happened yet. It’s not due to the numbers because if you look at his career, the numbers have progressively gone up. His point production has increased year after year, but yet we still yearn for more.
The talent is there for the 2015 No. 1 draft pick and that’s why the expectations for him are so high. He has everything that you want in your star guard. Wiggins is a long swingman who can get to the cup and has the athleticism to throw it down on any defender that’s bold enough to contest him at the rim.
But he’s also grown as a player. He’s not just a slasher anymore. Wiggins has been working on his outside shot and mid-range game to develop himself as a scorer. The shot attempts have increased for the Minnesota wing over the years. His midrange attempts have gone from 430 in the 2014-2015 season to 588 attempts this past season along with the 3-point attempts, which have gone from 126 in the 2014-2015 season to 289 attempts this past season. Along with his increase in attempts, there has been an increase in percentage as well. You can see that natural inkling as a scorer in Wiggins game but to take that next step, that ferociousness and aggression must follow behind it.
Where I believe Wiggins can improve is in becoming more of a well-rounded player. Often the doubters say, “Well, what else does Wiggins provide besides scoring?” Outside of scoring Wiggins doesn’t really give you much. He’s an average rebounder and an average defender. While he’s an athletic and long body, the tenacity on the defensive side of the ball just isn’t there and he’s amongst the bottom half of the NBA with a Defensive Rating of 110.4 from last season.
One question that I have for Wiggins going forward is how will he be affected by the trade of Jimmy Butler? This upcoming season will be interesting for Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves all-around. As I mentioned earlier, we’ve all been waiting for him to take that next leap in terms of becoming more aggressive and reaching stardom. However, with the trade of Butler to the Timberwolves, I’m not sure how possible that may be now.
Butler is a star in his own right and will take a few of those possessions away from Wiggins. He already had to share the spotlight with Karl-Anthony Towns but now Jimmy Butler is there too. I do believe there’s enough ball to go around. Wiggins will have to pick his spots carefully and make the most of his moments. Where I do believe this will benefit him is due to the fact that I visualize the Timberwolves being successful this season. I see them with a winning record and making the playoffs which means more exposure for Andrew Wiggins. It’s on him to make the most of this moment and display the evolution in his game.
No. 44: Al Horford