Andrew 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.