Mar 5, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Andrew Wiggins (22) dunks the ball against Texas Tech Red Raiders forward Dejan Kravic (11) in the first half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports1

Andrew Wiggins is the #1 Draft Pick


Draft coverage has been a part of the Laker season this year.  Mitch Kupchak and other staff members have been watching games to see who can be the next “it.”  Even ESPN 710 (Los Angeles) keeps talking about analytics and its role within the basketball world.

Today, Kansas lost to West Virginia, 92 to 86.  A 25-point deficit was too much to overcome.  Top-three lottery pick Joel Embiid didn’t dress due to injury.  It was on Andrew Wiggins to carry the team, and for the first time this season, he did.

Mar 5, 2014; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks guard Andrew Wiggins (22) bring the ball up court against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won the game 82-57. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports1

Today, he finished with 41 points on a barrage of athletic forays to the basket and multiple 3-point shots.  His moves were exactly the same; dribble, step-back, pull-up, spot up jumpshots behind the arc, 3-point shots off the dribble, two-dribble right hand spin move off the left pivot, and points in transition.  The difference?  He was able to do more of it.  Embiid and NCAA defenses block the painted area where Wiggins is most effective. How hot was he?  He finished 12 of 18 from the field, hitting 15 of 19 shots at the free throw line, with 8 rebounds, 5 steals, and 4 blocks.  That is a stat-line of the elite athletes of the NBA.  It is possible that Vince Carter, Dominique Wilkens, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, and other elite wings have put up similar lines with more minutes.

If there’s a reason why Wiggins hasn’t been covered on this Laker site in regards to the draft, it is because some of us were waiting for his breakout party.  There was an article written earlier about his tentativeness about the game written here.  He always felt out of reach considering the lottery status of the Lakers.  As much as some Laker fans may want to tank for a better draft pick, there is a reason they tried to avoid doing so. Anyone else still bitter from the loss to the Clippers?  Would you really keep your pride for a team if the Lakers tanked like that every night?

Dante Exum may have all the hype from Laker fans.  He’s the one who hired Kobe’s agent.  He’s the one who hired Kobe’s trainer.  He’s the one seen at a recent Laker game just to make an appearance.  Those who follow me on twitter (@Canyondriver, understand why he’s been #2 on my draft list.  He’s the one that shows the most skills, great size, athletic ability as a combination, and a work ethic to match.  His desire to become a Laker legend is very real. The difference is, today, he may be closer to becoming a Laker.  Wiggins just shot up to everyone’s draft chart to #1.

If the Lakers were to draft either player, the franchise wins.  Fans need to be patient in terms of their development, but there’s an understanding that the lottery pick, assuming it’s a high pick, is a franchise player in development.  LeBron made it obvious when he entered the league out of high school.  Bryant, Garnett, and McGrady needed some seasoning before they came into their own.  But, for a city that is prided on star power in Los Angeles, Wiggins, on talent alone, could turn the city around.

Tags: 2014 Andrew Basketball College Dante Draft Exum Lakers Ncaa Wiggins

  • Jim213

    Change of heart already Mike? ‘Drafting Dante Exum: Is Like Drafting Kobe Bryant.’

    But still believe Embiid won’t opt out this year. Hopefully they end up with a top 4 pick. However, I’d still give defense top priority with regards to these prospects. But another SF? Although, could possibly be used at the 2 tho given the issues at the 1, 4, and 5 positions there’s many issues to address for the long term.

    • mikegarcia

      Before today, the past 3 weeks of my draft list had Embiid #1, Exum #2, Parker #3, Wiggins #4.

      It’s not necessarily a change of heart. More like, discovery. Scouts will be doing the same during March Madness.

    • Mike Garcia

      Before today, the past 3 weeks of my draft list had Embiid #1, Exum #2, Parker #3, Wiggins #4.

      It’s not necessarily a change of heart. More like, discovery. Scouts will be doing the same during March Madness.

      The Lakers need help at all positions. Drafting out of position doesn’t work well.

      • Jim213

        Landing one of the 5 top prospects (tho 4 opt out this year, IMO) would be considered a good draft for FO. But I’d stick with trying to acquire the #1 choice for the team (if available) given it’s likely it’ll fit the team’s current needs first (out of the top 4) but there’s potential in all of them (some more than others) tho they’d have to end up in the right situation. But any one of these prospects would be good for the franchise’s future hopes.

        • Kay Carter

          rather not see another SF smh we have too many of those
          we need a C, PF nd PG

  • 23,24

    BOSTON CELTICS : JABARI PARKER

    LA LAKERS : ANDREW WIGGINS

    >The CELTICS will draft JABARI PARKER and the LA LAKERS will draft ANDREW WIGGINS to make a new rivalry ala LAKERS magic johnson/ CELTICS LARRY BIRD..

    the Celtics are in perfect situation to carry the team with JABARI PARKER as a rivalry of Andrew Wiggins and..

    the Lakers are in a perfect situation to help Bryant finish his career on a high note and lay down the building blocks for the future. With Wiggins looking like more than just an ordinary teenager, the Lakers may be in position for a grand comeback season next year.

    “Still, the Lakers have had their share of luck and the situation is perfect for them. As Kobe prepares to play his last few years, Wiggins arrives to carry on the legacy. It’s a story made for Hollywood, and the Lakers play only a few miles from there,”

  • 23,24

    BOSTON CELTICS : JABARI PARKER

    LA LAKERS : ANDREW WIGGINS

    >The CELTICS will draft JABARI PARKER and the LA LAKERS will draft ANDREW WIGGINS to make a new rivalry ala LAKERS MAGIC JOHNSON/ CELTICS LARRY BIRD..

    the Celtics are in perfect situation to carry the team with JABARI PARKER as a rivalry of Andrew Wiggins and..

    the Lakers are in a perfect situation to help Bryant finish his career on a high note and lay down the building blocks for the future. With Wiggins looking like more than just an ordinary teenager, the Lakers may be in position for a grand comeback season next year.

    “Still, the Lakers have had their share of luck and the situation is perfect for them. As Kobe prepares to play his last few years, Wiggins arrives to carry on the legacy. It’s a story made for Hollywood, and the Lakers play only a few miles from there,”

  • J Taylor

    If Boston ends up ahead of the Lakers, I have no doubts that Exum could be wearing Green no season.

    • Mike Garcia

      If that’s the case, another player slips.