ESPN Insiders’ Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton offer up differing projections of Kansas star Andrew Wiggins:
Ford: I think Wiggins has the most upside of any player in the draft. His physical gifts are unteachable. His defensive potential is off the charts and while his offense still needs polish, all of the weaknesses in his game are fixable.
I’ve been using the comp of a young Paul George all season.
Pelton: I’d consider George something of a realistic best-case scenario. There’s a 91.8 similarity score between George when he entered the NBA draft as a sophomore and Wiggins now. Wiggins is certainly ahead of where George was as a freshman at Fresno State, and has the tools to make the same kind of impact at both ends, but at the same time George has made a nearly unprecedented leap to NBA superstar in the past five years. It’s hard to expect Wiggins — or anyone — to develop as quickly.
I think the best comparison for Wiggins is a name I haven’t heard yet: Luol Deng. Deng’s translated usage and TS% from his lone season at Duke are nearly identical to Wiggins this season. They’re also similar on the glass, and both are fine individual defenders. Deng comes out with the highest similarity to Wiggins (98.2) of any prospect in my database at the same age.
Not sure about you, but I’m hoping for a lot more than the next Luol Deng out of this year’s draft.
Danny Ainge may never get the chance to draft Wiggins, as the embarrassingly bad 76ers, losers of 22 straight games, reportedly have him atop their draft board. You can watch him today at 4pm as Kansas plays Eastern Kentucky in the NCAA tourney.
In Ford’s latest mock draft (March 5), he has the Celtics selecting Jabari Parker at #4.