Production VS Potential.
Talent evaluators consistently battle with these two key elements, whether that be scouting at the high school or college and NBA levels.
I’ve consistently said that I would ultimately take production over potential.
With that being said, most would categorize Jabari Parker under the production category, and Wiggins under potential.
Now lets break it down statistically.
Andrew Wiggins – 17.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.5 APG 45% FG, 34% 3P, 12.1 FG attempts
Jabari Parker – 19.1 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.2 APG, 47% FG, 36% 3P, 14.3 FG attempts
Both prospects registered more than respectable numbers in their freshman campaign. Parker’s rebounding is considerably higher. Every other major statistic is comparable, with Parker taking over two more shots per game than Wiggins.
This one is a no-brainer; Wiggins possesses special physical attributes that you cannot teach…Parker has a very impressive offensive arsenal…skills that Wiggins is gradually adding to his game.
This is not to say that Parker does not still have room to grow, but to put things into perspective…close your eyes and picture Andrew Wiggins with Parker’s skill set.
Now open your eyes…you have an NBA Superstar.
Wiggins is a 6’8 freak athlete that has the tools to be a big time two way player, immediately able to contribute with his defensive versatility.
Will Potential Be Maximized?
This is the question that I ask myself every time I evaluate a prospect at any level.
The way that I answer this question is by learning about the player and the person with regards to work ethic, drive, and focus.
I have been tracking Wiggins’ career since he was in the ninth grade. Coming from a basketball family, he has a strong foundation consisting of moral fibre, first hand pro guidance, and direction from his parents Mitchell Wiggins Sr (Former NBA player) and Marita Payne (Former track star), not to mention his older brothers Nick (WSU/ Pro prospect) and Mitch Wiggins Jr. His younger sisters are also basketball players.
In other words, young Wiggins has all the resources at his arsenal to succeed at the highest level and maximize his potential.
In addition, it has been well-documented that Wiggins represents Canadian basketball in a big way, meaning that he has an entire country supporting and depending on him. I highly doubt that we will have to worry about effort, or wanting to be great.
Wiggins has been on the road to greatness since he was 13, and has been maturing at his own pace.
In Wiggins’ case, he has been physically superior at every level that he’s played on…that includes BIG 12 basketball at Kansas. He has never truly failed yet in the game of basketball…he hasn’t struggled. With an exception of his last college game, he hasn’t been through many significant hurdles…yet.
Failure, a Key Component to Success
At the NBA level, he will get to a point where he will face obstacles on and off the court – whether that be facing media pressure, poor performance, and other outside factors.
As a result, the basketball world will see the “next gear” in Wiggins’ game. The Vaughan, Ontario product will grow through struggle as a person and player. It’s a natural part of life.
Lebron James hit “rock bottom” in the 2011 NBA Finals against Dallas, and truly matured as a person through this experience, catapulting him into undoubtedly being the best player in the world, and a 2-time NBA champion.
Up until that point, LBJ did not experience any failure; he had been dominating the game of basketball since high school, being referred to as “The Chosen One” and “King James.”
For the record, I am in no way, shape or form comparing Wiggins and Lebron in terms of ability (even though sky is the limit for AW), but I am comparing their journey and experiences.
The Match Up
Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker have been linked together at every level; from high school & AAU, to the college scene, and now the 2014 NBA draft.
Wiggins took the number one spot in many people’s eyes thanks to his performance against Julius Randle @ Nike Peach Jam; an instant classic that I was blessed to witness first hand on the baseline in Georgia. Many have said it was one of the best AAU battles ever.
In the college ranks (as you can see above), their performance positioned them at one and two…but the question of course, is who is worthy of the top spot?
Production or potential?
I would take both. In other words…Andrew Wiggins.
I just can’t see Cleveland passing up on Wiggins.
Not only is he the best overall package in the draft, he also shares the Canadian card with the Cavaliers number one pick Anthony Bennett (2013) and #4 pick Tristan Thompson (2011).
It makes too much sense…the synergy is already there, Wiggins has strong relationships with Thompson and Bennett, while also being former teammates with AB on Team Canada, CIA Bounce, and Nike Hoop Summit.
No NBA front office ever wants to live with regret, and if they choose to pass up on Wiggins, it would be a major mistake. Parker is also a great option…but I think that Wiggins is the BEST option.
We are talking production combined with potential. We are talking unparalleled genetics. We are talking perennial NBA All-Star.
If the Cleveland Cavaliers have done their research; I consider Andrew Wiggins to the Cavs a done deal.
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