Andrew Wiggins Is Quietly Emerging As The Superstar Many Gave Up On Him Becoming

Flip Saunders wasn’t exactly sure what type of player Andrew Wiggins would become. All he knew after last season is that the reigning Rookie of the Year had a good chance to be great.

“[Wiggins is] a blank canvas,” the late Minnesota Timberwolves coach told Grantland’s Zach Lowe in July. “Very few players enter this league with the ability to draw on that canvas and create any game they want.”

Just over a month into the 2015-16 season, Wiggins has quietly filled that blank white space with more varied color than even the most hopeful evaluators of his game could have imagined. The No. 1 pick of last year’s draft began his sophomore campaign on a bad note, making just 29.3 percent of his shots over the Timberwolves’ first three games and exhibiting the general lethargy that some believed could keep him from reaching his potential.

But those outside the organization lacked crucial context that explained Wiggins’ dispiriting play in late October and early November: a back injury he suffered 48 hours before the season-opener. He’s been stellar ever since gaining full health, combining the facets that propelled him to an eye-popping rookie season with more subtle improvements that suggest legitimate superstardom. And while statistics – 24.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists on 55.6 percent true shooting in his last 14 outings – tell that story better than anything else, they aren’t nearly enough to explain the one that matters far more for the future.


By: Jack Winter, Dime Magazine

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