What one heck of a draft! Personally, I didn't see as many surprises as I expected, like the big-name trades and what have you but the depth of this draft kept me interested all the way through pick 60 (as my Brooklyn Nets traded for Baylor forward Cory Jefferson). Teams really did a great job of taking advantage of one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. The parity between the worst teams and the best is slowly but surely disappearing, especially with a class like this one. Only time will tell if this draft will live up to the hype like the 2003 NBA Draft did, or even older like the '84 and '96 draft. All I can say is, i'm excited for more NBA basketball already!
I had to take this opportunity to pick my favorite for Rookie of the Year. Yes, I know it may be too early to know anything, but how could I not? Wouldn't be me if I didn't!
Sorry, I had to pick the obvious favorite Andrew Wiggins. This guy not only will be a problem for opposing teams next season, but for years to come. The Cavs really found a gem in Wiggins. A combo of him and Kyrie Irving should be one that will be a force to be reckoned with in the very near future. I'm really excited to see how good Wiggins is against NBA competition. Here's why I think he'll trump the efforts of every rookie this upcoming season.
He'll get a chance to do what he does best from day one: Score
Andrew Wiggins completely dominated college competition. He is one heck of a scorer and that trait is one that I think always translates well to the NBA. If you know how to put the ball in the basket, chances are you can have a fruitful career in the league. He was a nightmare to guard, hey, remember this game versus the West Virginia Mountaineers?
Though the Jayhawks were on the losing end, Andrew Wiggins showed many NBA scouts his impressive takeover ability. Wiggins put up 41 points on 12-of-18 shooting while sinking 15-of-19 from the charity stripe to go along with 8 rebounds. This was a completely dominant effort by Wiggins. West Virginia coach Bob Huggins couldn't help but to credit Wiggins by saying "I've never seen him play like that," Huggins said. "When he makes shots he's really difficult to defend." Couldn't have said it any better, coach. Wiggins will have plenty of nights like this in the NBA.
Defense, defense, defense
It's a blessing when your rookie draftee makes it his business to let everyone know that one of his goals is to make the NBA All-Defensive Team from day one. Wiggins said "I want to come in and create an impact off the bat, offensively and defensively," Wiggins said. "Be a good teammate, be a good part of the organization. I want to be on the All-Defensive team, be Rookie of the Year, make the All-Star team." Very lofty goals for someone who hasn't suited up yet, but you've GOT to appreciate that. As a coach, GM, or owner, you relish these words from the young guy that you chose to take first overall in the draft. Wiggins also continued to say "I try to set goals with the person I'm guarding," Wiggins said. "I don't like when my man scores -- even when I'm on the bench and he scores, it makes me mad." Here's some of his Cavaliers introduction interview right here:
Defense is what set Wiggins apart from other top prospect Jabari Parker. Though they both possess a scorer's mentality, Wiggins is definitely the better 2-way player, and obviously the Cavaliers agree, especially GM David Griffin. "Andrew's a player we couldn't be happier to have here for many, many reasons," Griffin said. "Primarily because he's a two-way player." New coach David Blatt chimed in as well, "One of Andrew's greatest qualities is that he can play both ends of the court, and there's always minutes for a guy who does that." Strong words, strong words.
Momma's Athleticism=His Athleticism
For anyone who doesn't know, Andrew Wiggins' mom is former Olympic silver medalist Marita Payne-Wiggins. Though his dad is a former NBA player, Andrew attributes his freakish athleticism to his mom. Wiggins said he got his legs, speed, and his jumping ability from his mom. He possesses an explosive first step & crazy vertical leap will help him blow past defenders and finish at the rim among the trees. His lateral quickness and length is what will make him a hellacious perimeter defender, and even better, he'll be able to defend both wing positions. Many people question his passion for the game and if that will hinder him in using his physical gifts to destroy the league from day one. I think not. I feel as though Andrew felt as though college was just a waste of a year for him, he probably felt as though this should be his sophomore year in the league. Mom's genes did Andrew tons of justice.
Overall, Wiggins will get a chance to play early and often. He and Kyrie will mesh off the bat, and as said, it will be a wonder to watch. He's an easy 16-20 point scorer from day one and that's not going to be his ceiling. Improvement on his ball handling, assertiveness, and consistency will make him nearly unstoppable. In my opinion, Andrew Wiggins has the chance to be the league's best player down the road (don't shoot me!). He will run away with next year's Rookie of The Year Award. Cavalier fans should be licking their chops to see this guy take the court.
The Cavaliers will definitely get more love from me in the next NBA 2k!
Who could steal the show?
Jabari Parker (Bucks, Forward), Julius Randle (Lakers, Forward), Marcus Smart (Celtics, Guard), Nerlens Noel (76ers, Center), Aaron Gordon (Magic, Forward)