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Andrew Wiggins would be the No. 1 pick this year. Kansas lucks out.

May 14, 2013, 2:01 PM EDT

0515_wiggins_0 AP

The NBA’s much-ridiculed one-and-done rule was not meant for guys like Andrew Wiggins.

It was meant to protect owners from themselves and draft picks like Leon Smith or Darius Miles (and a host of others). We can make the a good argument that even with an extra year NBA teams still make some pretty bad draft errors, but the owners feel protected from having to figure out the development potential of high school seniors. We could go off on how in a free market — as these rich owners demand in other areas of their business live — Wiggins would be able to ply his trade when he was good enough (like a tech genius dropping out of Harvard because his business took off). But what’s the point, the owners want the rule and they’re not even discussing changing it (it was left on table in the last CBA talks and never picked up).

Wiggins gets caught in this net— he is ready now and if he entered this draft he would go No. 1. Easy. It’s not close.

Look at what ESPN’s Chad Ford got a GM of a lottery team to say, comparing Wiggins to likely No. 1 pick this year Nerlens Noel of Kentucky.

“Noel is a really good NBA prospect,” one lottery NBA GM said. “He’s just not a franchise-changing player. Wiggins is one of the three or four best prospects in the last decade. He has the ability to completely turn around a franchise. All 30 teams would take him with the No. 1 pick if they could.”

Because it’s a down draft year, right?

“No,” the same GM said. “In every draft since 2007. [Greg] Oden would’ve went ahead of him. If Kevin Durant couldn’t beat him out, no one could. But Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, John Wall, Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis? Wiggins goes ahead of all of them. I’m not saying he’ll be better than all of them. I’m just saying knowing what we know about them when they were in the draft and knowing what we know about Wiggins, he’d beat out all of those guys.”

Wiggins is 6’8” (with 7-foot wingspan) who is crazy athletic but also comes with a lot of skill. He’s got good handles, is quick off the dribble and has a variety of hesitation moves, jukes and other steps to get by you and get to the rim. Or, he has a nice pull-up jumper.

DraftExpress has him going No. 1 in 2014, as does everyone else. He’s a franchise changer. He’s not built like the tank that is LeBron James, his game is more young Kobe Bryant from the little I watched. Chad Ford said he pictures a young Tracy McGrady (and if you only know the older, post injury McGrady you missed out). But you get the idea, he’s a wing player who will change a franchise.

Which means enjoy the tanking next season. Seriously. Bad teams are going to fall over themselves to get worse.

Personally, I’d like to see something like the college baseball rule in place — you can be drafted pro out of high school, but if you go to college you have to be there three years. And if you are not drafted you maintain your eligibility even if you talked with agents and shoe companies, that would essentially reset.

But that’s not going to happen. So the good people of Lawrence, Kansas, are going to get to see some fun basketball for a year. But just one.

  1. anhdazman - May 14, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Agree with you, but only two years of college if you don’t get drafted. In two years, these guys can mature into a very good player. Making him stay for three years if he doesn’t get drafted out of HS is over kill.

  2. 4thquartermagic - May 14, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    “Which means enjoy the tanking next season. Seriously. Bad teams are going to fall over themselves to get worse.”

    Sooo… if I’m a GM wouldn’t I just hedge my bets and trade for the Bobcats #1 NOW?

    We all know that team trying, looks like tanking.

    • money2long - May 14, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      pg. kemba
      sg. wiggins
      sf. kidd-gilchrist.

      • erckle31 - May 14, 2013 at 6:09 PM

        Wow, that’s a lineup with great potential. The thought that the Bobcats could become relevant is mind-blowing.

  3. money2long - May 14, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    a darius miles mention ! i remember him. i liked watching his game when he was on. he was athletic as hell. but athleticism only gets you so far.

  4. themagicfanguy - May 14, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    @Money2long The problem with that is it will be ORL with Wiggins. Y’all can have Parker or Randle.

    • money2long - May 14, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      wiggins in orlando would be nice as well !

    • money2long - May 14, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      i just like young teams stuffed with potential. orlando really lucked out with tobias harris. he was a straight beast down the stretch

  5. jbeagles23 - May 14, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Jordan wouldn’t draft wiggins cause he doesn’t like anyone stealing his thunder

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