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Andrew Wiggins’ HS coach: ‘Andrew could care less what LeBron James thinks of him’

Andrew-WigginsAndrew Wiggins might as well have been handed his walking papers by the Cavaliers the day LeBron James decided to return to Cleveland. Like the rest of us, the No. 1 overall pick knew the Cavs were looking to deal him to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love. But was he concerned about it? It doesn’t appear so.

According to Wiggins’ Huntington Prep high school coach Rob Fulford, the former Kansas star has been unfazed by both trade rumors and what LeBron thinks of him.

“Andrew is such a good kid; he’s just a classy kid, very humble, very respectful,” Fulford told Jeff Caplan of NBA.com. “I think this whole process with the trade rumors, he could care less. That kid just wants to play basketball. The fact that LeBron never reached out to him, Andrew could care less what LeBron James thinks of him.”

When LeBron wrote his heartfelt essay for Sports Illustrated announcing that he was coming home, he mentioned how excited he is to work with several new teammates. Wiggins was not among those mentioned, which was hardly an oversight. Wiggins, 19, then told reporters earlier this month that he had not spoken to James once since they became teammates.

Kansas coach Bill Self later said that Wiggins told him he wants to be traded. Fulford basically said the same, noting that Wiggins can now be the star of the show in Minnesota.

“Andrew’s going to be a superstar,” he said. “This gives him a platform from Day 1 to kind of be the guy, and he’s ready for that. … It’s one of those things, him being on a team where it’s kind of really going to be his, I think, is a good thing for him.”

With Love out of Minnesota and Timberwolves fans desperate for a winning team, Wiggins will have an opportunity to be the hero. Playing in Cleveland with a kid from Akron would not have presented him with the same opportunity.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Timberwolves announce Kevin Love-Andrew Wiggins trade with newspaper ad

Timberwolves-newspaper-ad-trade

Saturday was the first day Andrew Wiggins was eligible to be traded after signing his rookie contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers 30 days ago, and as expected the No. 1 overall pick was officially traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love. The T-Wolves introduced their new players with a newspaper ad in the Pioneer Press.

While the Cavs will likely be the Eastern Conference favorites with a big three of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Love, the Timberwolves have assembled an exciting young core of players. Minnesota drafted Zach LaVine with its first-round pick in June and will now add two top overall picks in Wiggins and Anthony Bennett. The Wolves are also getting 26-year-old Thaddeus Young from the Philadelphia 76ers.

As expected, Philly will receive a first-round draft pick, Alexey Shved and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

H/T SB Nation
Photo: Twitter/John Shipley

Andrew Wiggins: Kobe Bryant is closest thing to Michael Jordan

Andrew-WigginsAndrew Wiggins has a ton of respect for Kobe Bryant’s game and compares him to the player he considers to be the greatest ever: Michael Jordan. Wiggins even wants to challenge the Lakers superstar 1-on-1 more than any other player in the NBA.

In a 2013 interview with ESNews that took place before he even began his college career at Kansas, Wiggins was asked which NBA great he’d play 1-on-1 if he had his choice. He named Kobe.

“I’d want to face Kobe because he’s the closest thing to the greatest ever. I think Michael Jordan’s the greatest ever, but Kobe’s second to Michael Jordan, and I want to see where I stand.”

Wiggins also said in the interview, “I’m a big fan,” of Kobe Bryant.

Wiggins was drafted No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers and is expected to head to Minnesota as part of a Kevin Love trade. In this particular interview, he mentioned the Toronto Raptors as a team he’d like to be drafted by. If he still feels strongly about Toronto, keep that in mind for when he becomes a free agent.

Also keep this interview in mind when it comes time for Wiggins to face Bryant. Based on his words, you know he’ll be bringing his A-game.

(Note: A previous version of this post contained a supposed quote from Kobe saying the Wiggins trade would be like the Hornets trading him to the Lakers. That appears to be a fabricated quote.)

Andrew Wiggins told Bill Self he wanted to be traded

Andrew-WigginsSince LeBron James announced he would be returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, speculation began about him being joined by Kevin Love.

Love has, of course, made it known his intentions to opt out of final year of his contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves and become a free agent after the 2014-2015 season. With this in mind, it makes sense for Minnesota to trade their All-Star and get something in return before he departs. The Cavaliers are able to dangle last year’s No. 1 overall pick (Anthony Bennett), this year’s top pick (Andrew Wiggins), and a first round pick, increasing their status as a likely trade partner.

Wiggins is the key component for the Timberwolves, as he should be, and while some may not be thrilled with the idea of being traded, the 19-year-old seems to think it may be the best thing for him. When speaking with former coach Bill Self, Wiggins indicated he was hoping to be traded.

“When all this trade stuff started, I talked to Andrew and Andrew told me, “I hope I get traded,” Self said via Sporting News. “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.”

Credit to Wiggins for embracing the opportunity to be more of a focal point and realizing it will be beneficial for his development. During his long season at Kansas, some questioned Wiggins’ ability to take over games due to his laid back personality. With the Timberwolves, he will surely have a larger role, giving him ample opportunities to shed that label.

Report: Cavs have trade, long-term extension in place for Kevin Love

Kevin LoveKevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers is as official as it can be without actually being official. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports that the Cavs and Minnesota Timberwolves have reached a deal for Love and that Love has agreed to sign a long-term extension with Cleveland.

As expected, the T-Wolves will get Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett in addition to a protected first-round pick. The deal cannot be finalized until Aug. 23 because of NBA rules prohibiting players from being traded within 30 days of signing a rookie contract.

Love has reportedly made a “firm agreement” with the Cavs that he will opt out of his current contract after the 2014-2015 season and sign a five-year extension worth around $120 million. Woj also added that the Cavs felt a sense of pressure to make the deal now knowing they would not have the salary cap space needed to sign Love as a free agent next summer. Had they not traded for him, the Chicago Bulls likely would have.

It does not appear that there is a third team involved in the trade, as was previously reported.

So what does it all mean? The return of LeBron James instantly made the Cavs a championship contender. The addition of Love makes them downright scary. While Wiggins is a phenomenal talent and could wind up being one of the best players in the league, Cleveland is likely better off with Love in the short term. LeBron will turn 30 next season, so time is somewhat of the essence.

Love is a proven talent and an NBA All-Star. If healthy,  LeBron, Love and Kyrie Irving have a chance to dominate a weak Eastern Conference.

Andrew Wiggins has not spoken to LeBron James

Andrew-WigginsMost people would be surprised if Andrew Wiggins actually plays in a game for the Cleveland Cavaliers next season. With Minnesota Timberwolves ownership making it clear over the weekend that the intention is to trade Kevin Love, the Cavs are still the favorite to land the All-Star forward. Wiggins is Cleveland’s top bargaining chip.

But just in case you weren’t convinced that LeBron James wants Love on the Cavs, Wiggins told Tim Bontemps of the New York Post on Sunday that he still has not spoken to LeBron.

“No. I’m sure he’s busy,” Wiggins said. “I feel like I’m busy, so I’m sure he’s busy.”

I’d be willing to bet a large sum of money that LeBron hasn’t been too busy to reach out to Kyrie Irving, even if only by text message. It’s also worth noting that James mentioned several of his new teammates by name in the essay he wrote for Sports Illustrated, but he didn’t mention Wiggins. Considering Wiggins is a No. 1 overall pick, the omission was fairly surprising.

In an appearance on SportsCenter Sunday, Wiggins sounded like a young man who knows he could be on the move.

“I just want to play for a team that wants me,” he said, per USA Today Sports. “So whichever team wants me I’ll play for.”

Will the Cavs be devastated if they are unable to move Wiggins for Love? I doubt it, but it seems obvious their goal is to have Love on their roster when the season begins and not the former Kansas star. The fact that LeBron has not reached out to Wiggins says it all.

Cavs’ Andrew Wiggins trade offer for Kevin Love said to be the best

Kevin Love mustache

Kevin Love is still with the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are still said to be the leaders to acquire him.

Here’s what ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted on Thursday about a potential Love trade:

The T-Wolves have resisted trading Love and still have him under contract for another season, but they risk losing him and receiving nothing in return. It makes much more sense for them to trade him for a potential All-Star like Andrew Wiggins.

Though there has been a lot of chatter about other teams getting in the trade mix for Love, it’s pretty clear that the Cavs present the best offer.

Cleveland signed Wiggins Thursday, meaning they can’t trade him for 30 days. Once that passes, Minnesota should do the trade.