We are in the fifth year of former number one pick Andrew Wiggins’ career and it’s time to declare him a bust. Not in the same vain as as Kwame Brown and Anthony Bennett, but he has not lived up to the billing at all. Coming out of Kansas, his draft comparisons ranged from being an all time rim attacker like Clyde Drexler and Vince Carter to an all around scoring machine like Tracy McGrady. The one key difference between those three guys and Wiggins at this point in his career is he stinks and none of those gentlemen did. Is stinks too harsh of an adjective for Andrew Wiggins? Probably, but when you’re selected first overall the expectations are going to be harsh, but in all seriousness this guy may stink.
Wiggins’ rookie season was very much as advertised. He averaged 16.9 points 4.6 boards and 2.1 assists. His shooting splits were very lackluster at 43/31/76 but all things considered it was a fine rookie campaign, which is why he won Rookie of the Year. The thought around the league was his three point shot would develop and his jump shooting in general would take a massive step forward. That did not happen.
His three point percentage has never been over 35% and his highest field goal percentage has been 45.9%. Yeah, those numbers aren’t horrid at all, but they don’t exactly scream developing prospect either. After his rookie season, Minnesota drafted Karl Anthony Towns. Logically, it should be expected Wiggins would get less touches now that he shared the floor with another prospect. However, an offensively dominant big like Towns is the perfect match for an elite cutter like Wiggins is heralded as being. Yet, the more that Towns has developed, the worse Wiggins has gotten. Last year Towns had career highs in everything but points per game, Wiggins was the antithesis of this, as he had career lows in mostly everything since his rookie season. So far this season, the downward trend has continued, as Wiggins’ field goal percentage is at its lowest ever, and his points are as well. A change of scenery seems unlikely as his 5 year 148 million dollar contract is essentially trade repellent to GM’s with common sense. Can it be debated that statistically he’s a fine NBA player? Of course, those numbers can add to a winning formula. However, there is one way to tell for certain if he is a bust; by looking who went after him.
Now there are obviously draft classes that this test doesn’t work for. Hakeem Olajuwon is a top 10 player ever so he isn’t a bust because Michael Jordan was drafted behind him. Carmelo Anthony isn’t a bust because Dwyane Wade was selected after him and won three rings, but guys like Wiggins, who teeter on the line of bust or not, fit this test perfectly. For example, Markelle Fultz, was taken ahead of Jayson Tatum and Donovan Mitchell. Regardless of what Fultz does, he at least has to be comparable to those two, and he has not. So who was taken in the same draft as Wiggins? Well, number 2 was Jabari Parker who actually does stink. Parker was selected by the Bucks and has faced injury problems over his first two seasons. Since recovering, he has yet to figure out the concept of “defense” and left Milwaukee this off-season. So out of the top two picks, Wiggins is clearly the superior player. As long as a franchise altering big man, who also attended Kansas with Wiggins, wasn’t selected third then Wiggins should be fine……
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