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Report: Company played it safe, never made pre-ordered Andrew Wiggins Cavaliers jerseys

Aug 10, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

wiggins interview

Andrew Wiggins was selected with the number one overall pick in this summer’s draft by the Cavaliers, and was forced to conduct awkward interviews in his new team’s jersey, even though the likelihood of him ever playing in Cleveland seemed to be diminishing on a daily basis.

Wiggins, of course, will be involved as a primary piece in Cleveland’s trade-to-be with the Timberwolves for Kevin Love. But because it can’t be official for 30 days after the signing of his rookie contract, his jerseys were being sold (for the most part) as if he’d be with the Cavaliers by the time next season began.

But we all knew that was a long shot, and the company responsible for actually manufacturing these jerseys decided to hedge its bets.


A spokesman for Fanatics, which also services the NBA’s online store, said Thursday that the company — which specializes in on-demand customization — actually never made the No. 21 Wiggins Cavs jerseys that fans ordered from the sites.

Spokesman Meier Raivich said the site had up until a month after Wiggins signed (until Aug. 23) to deliver the jerseys, but as reports swirled that Wiggins could be traded in a deal for the Timberwolves’Kevin Love, as was confirmed Thursday, the company decided to be cautious and not print the replicas.

That’s what appeared to be going on when the jerseys were briefly said to be “discontinued,” but the NBA said that wasn’t the case.

Regardless of what the reality is (i.e., whether or not the manufacturer had a tip that Wiggins would in fact be dealt), this was a smart business decision. Anyone who ordered a replica jersey would have received one eventually, and those who ordered custom ones that have already shipped are eligible to return them for a full refund if that’s what they choose to do.

  1. saint1997 - Aug 10, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    I feel like these photos of Wiggins in a Cavs photo is going to be one of those crazy photos that will make the rounds in 12 years. Like the photo of Kobe in Celtics gear for that workout

    • Hard On For Harden - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Or the Sonics/Thunder trotting out Russell Westbrook in a Sonics hat for the NBA draft before going through with the official relocation a few days later.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      or Kobe in a Hornets hat. That one always pissed me off.

  2. revren10 - Aug 10, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Will be overrated for first four years in the league

    • fanofthegame79 - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Anything is a possibility with him, which is why the Cavs are smart to trade him for Kevin Love (who has already produced at a high level in the NBA).

    • mogogo1 - Aug 11, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      Honestly, I think the expectations will be lower in Minnesota and that should help him out. Reading some of the Cavs fans comments who were against the Love trade it was like they expected Wiggins to instantly be challenging LeBron for who was going to be the best player on the team. The kid is still quite raw.

  3. fanofthegame79 - Aug 10, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    I hope this Wiggins situation serves as a lesson for everyone involved with the ratification of the next CBA: this rule of a rookie cannot be traded for 30 days after they sign their rookie contract is preposterous and should be removed.

    Does anyone out there see any value in this rule? If so, please enlighten me.

    • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Yes, here’s exactly what would happen. The Thunder would no longer draft players for themselves they’d only draft them to trade them to stay under the cap because they’re the cheapest team in the league. Phoenix used to do this when they had Nash. They draft Rajon Rondo and Luol Deng just to get rid of them to save money.

      • grantgoodman93 - Aug 10, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        ^he’s right. It’s actually very important with regards to salary cap dumping. The rule is needed but, in a case like this, the Cavs should be able to petition for the deal to go through sooner.

      • fanofthegame79 - Aug 10, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        Then that’s bad basketball management and I don’t believe there should be rules in place to protect owners from themselves.

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