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Andrew Wiggins told his former college coach he hopes to be traded to Minnesota

Aug 10, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

Andrew Wiggins Getty Images

Andrew Wiggins has been put in an unusually difficult situation for a rookie, being immersed in trade rumors ever since being taken as the number one overall pick in this summer’s draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The selection of Wiggins came before LeBron James announced his decision to come to Cleveland as a free agent, which obviously changed the team’s outlook on the upcoming season.

With James in place, the Cavaliers went from a rebuilding, borderline playoff team in the East to one that could potentially contend for a title, and do so immediately — which means that acquiring proven All-Star talent in trade takes precedence over waiting for a newly-drafted rookie to reach his potential.

That brings us back to Wiggins, who in all likelihood will be headed to Minnesota as part of the deal that will bring Kevin Love to the Cavaliers.

It would be easy for him to feel slighted in some way, like he isn’t considered good enough to even play a small role on a team that’s expected to compete for a championship. But Wiggins is taking the high road, choosing to believe that the situation in Minnesota will be better for his long-term prospects.

From The Associated Press (via Sporting News):

Andrew Wiggins told Kansas coach Bill Self that he wants to be traded from Cleveland to Minnesota because the No. 1 overall pick believes it will be better for his long-term future. …

When all this trade stuff started, I talked to Andrew and Andrew told me, “I hope I get traded,” Self said. “And I’m like, ‘No you don’t.’ And he said, “Coach, I do. It’s better for me, knowing my personality and what I need to do, to go somewhere where I’m forced to be something as opposed to going in there where they’re going to be patient with me and I’m going to be a piece.” …

“Even though in a weird way everybody would love the opportunity to play with LeBron because you’re guaranteed winning,” Self said, “for the longevity of his career, he needs to develop that mindset to be the guy, for him to be great, and I think being Minnesota will help him do that.”

Wiggins backed up this sentiment with a post to his Instagram account on Saturday.

“I’m here to beat the odds that was set against me, wished the worst luck to anyone who bet against me,” the caption read.

Wiggins is essentially using this turn of events as motivation to succeed before his NBA career has even gotten started, and there’s nothing wrong with that. He will be forced into action much more quickly in Minnesota than he would have been in Cleveland, and he knows better than anyone if that’s going to be the best thing for him in terms of his personal and professional development.

  1. rrhoe - Aug 10, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    Where was all the “CLE” fans the past few years???? Now I am reading post after post about being relevant again,what a “wonderful” place it is,I am even sensing quite a bit of arrogance from the “CLE” fans. This is the same kid who the team/city was clamoring for only to be cast aside and treated like a step-child,I feel bad for this guy but being in Minny will take alot of pressure off of him for the time being and will hopefully let him develop without his every move being scrutinized by all you “CLE” fans. Welcome back to PBT all you “CLE” fans,along with all the “NEW” CLE fans as well……..

    • campcouch - Aug 10, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      Cleveland fans are always around. What you see are bandwagoners who’ve put their backup team jerseys away and re-emerged on the scene. I have no way to disprove it on a website, but there are honest to God real fans who support all three teams in the city. They did average 17k per game in a 20k seat arena, which isn’t bad for a losing franchise, so there are fans. You’re just noticing it because there are articles concerning the team being published. If there’s nothing to talk about except the occasional defense of the city, what else would we come in and say. Every team fanbase has it’s braggarts and loudmouths so this should not be a surprise to you.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:10 AM

      Guess what, rrhoe. I was a Cleveland fan five, six and seven years ago. Then I was a Heat fan for four years. And now I’m a Cleveland fan again. Sorry, but unlike you I won’t spend 250 hours a year watching a terrible team. I watch winners because they’re fun to watch.

      • sumkat - Aug 11, 2014 at 2:39 AM

        Just because you are a fan of one team, doesn’t mean you have to watch them exclusively. I watched plenty of Heat ball over the last 4 years without ever being anything close to a Heat fan.

        You are just a bandwagon jumper

      • rrhoe - Aug 11, 2014 at 6:49 AM

        @ProBasketballPundit: At least you are honest,but sounds like you’re more a LeBron fan,which I can relate too. I have no allegiance to no team in basketball but I follow alot of teams by players that I like,if that makes any sense.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        @rrhoe Yes, you’re exactly right. I couldn’t care less about the success of Chris Bosh or Ray Allen, but I’ve always rooted for LeBron.

        I wish PBT let us put flare next to our usernames like reddit does because I’m actually a Hornets fan. You just wouldn’t know it because they rarely post about us and we’re rarely good. So I watch like 10-20 Bobcats/Hornets games a year then spend the rest of my nights watching the best matchups or LeBron.

  2. seasickcecil - Aug 10, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Is someone actually saying that by having their convention in Cleveland that they think that will help them take the state of Ohio. That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard here.

  3. ravenswhat - Aug 10, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    I can’t wait to see kevin Love’s reaction when a reporter asks him why Wiggins was able to lead the wolves to the playoffs within his first 6 years yet he was not.

    • 1historian - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      “I can’t believe you asked such a stupid question” might be a good answer.

      It is a stupid question, one only asked to try to get a rise out of the guy.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      Because Wiggins won’t have McHale, Kahn, Flip Saunders sabotaging the team at every turn. Well… actually he might. This trade is the best move the Timberwolves have made since drafting Kevin Love. You realize they flat out refused to give Love a 5-year deal because they were saving it for Rubio.

      It’s preposterous to blame Love for the failure of this team. So they averaged like 30 wins with him? They’d have averaged 16 without him.

  4. seasickcecil - Aug 10, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Love doesn’t have to lead his team to the playoffs. He’s got Lebron for that.

  5. seasickcecil - Aug 10, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    BTW the Cavs were 16th in the league with 17,000 plus last year. Not bad for a 33 win team that didn’t make the playoffs.

  6. bigbamboom1 - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:10 PM

    I don’t blame Wiggins one bit for feeling the way he does. He was the #1 pick in the draft. And one of the most celebrated players ever his freshman year in college. His star is on the rise. And this will put the chip on his shoulder to fuel greatness if he grabs it. Let’s face it. This is a win/win. Wiggins has the potential to be the next Lebron or Kobe. So he needs to be in an ideal situation to pursue that dream. No chance doing that with Lebron and Kyrie. And Love will best achieve his greatness with Lebron and Kyrie. SO a win/win all the way around.

  7. seasickcecil - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    I still believe that if Embiid doesn’t hurt his foot Wiggins is the number three pick. But whatever.

    • 1historian - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      Sam Smith said that Parker was the best of the 3 – no contest.

      • sumkat - Aug 11, 2014 at 2:43 AM

        doesn’t mean anything, if Cleveland thought he was the best of the 3, they’d of taken him over Wiggins, so obviously they don’t agree

        If Embiid is healthy, that’s who Cleveland takes, no doubt. I think the Bucks were taking Parker no matter what if he was there, so Wiggins would of been 3

      • marsh025 - Aug 11, 2014 at 9:59 AM

        Jabari made it perfectly clear that he did not want to play in cleveland So the Cavs decided to go elsewhere with the pick.

  8. milkcan44 - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Love the kid’s attitude, but he may be losing his best chance for a championship ring. I’ll be surprised if it happens in Minn. Lots of greats have played their whole career without one.

  9. seasickcecil - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:45 AM

    Looks like rrhoe is also stevepheonix a profession troll who gets his rocks off by burying Cleveland on various websites. Get a life loser.

  10. sumkat - Aug 11, 2014 at 2:50 AM

    Could be the best thing for Wiggins personally. Obviously, as far as the W/L record goes, he’s going to get less W’s in Minny than he would of in Cleveland. But his biggest “flaw” was the fact that he didn’t seem to want to try to take over games, and deferred to his teammates too much.

    On a team with LeBron, and Irving putting up 15+ a night (most likely) and Waiters putting up as many shots as he possibly can, Wiggins could of wound up never needing to become that #1 scorer, so never developing the skill. In Minny, they’ll probably lay off a bit this year, but he’ll be expected to shoulder a large load of the offense by next season. A responsibility he wouldn’t of got in Cleveland for 3-4 years, if ever.

    When he does have the ability to become a FA, whether they build a team around him that can win by then, or whether he bolts like so many have before him, he may look back and think that being moved to Minny and being one of the top players on a worse team, was better for his personal growth than being a role player on a better team. Only time will tell

  11. thenew013 - Aug 11, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    I always wanted to keep Wiggins b/c I do feel he will be great. If this is truly what he wanted then I am happy for him and I wish him the best. Once Lebron is retired and Love is past his prime we will be getting eaten up by Wiggins and the wolves. Glad we didn’t give too much though.

  12. jrob23 - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    First off, this trade was worked out long before the draft and Lebron made his decision. The NBA would controls EVERYTHING!. Wiggins wanting out of CLE is a non story. Of course he does. Unless you are from there and have family (like LJ) why would you want to set foot in that cesspool. It’s not called ‘the mistake by the lake’ for no reason. It’s a great sports town though. So he can either be in LJ shadow or become the next LJ on his own. Easy to see why he’d choose MN if he could.

  13. djshnooks - Aug 11, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Like I said on the Love to Cavs article.

    He is better off…much better off, and he’ll come out better with a chip on his shoulder.

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