What level of stardom will Andrew Wiggins achieve?


Andrew Wiggins is talented. Like, really, really talented.

Other than Anthony Davis, Wiggins might be the best young player in the NBA. Quite simply, we expect Wiggins to dominate for most of the 2015-16 season, especially after winning the Rookie of the Year award.

And while it might be considered unfair, Wiggins is now expected to turn into a superstar. He’s Minnesota’s future. If he becomes a borderline superstar, the Wolves will have a chance at being a contender. If he doesn’t become a great player, then they’ll have a tough time reaching the playoffs.

Andrew Wiggins has worked extremely hard this off-season, as we’ve seen from numerous Vines and YouTube videos that his personal trainers have posted. We are confident as a fan base in saying he will become a superstar because we’ve seen him make improvements ever since he first put on an NBA jersey.

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In the month of October (two games) Wiggins averaged seven points per game. In November, he averaged 12.3 points per contest. In seventeen games in January, he averaged 19.8 points per game. In the final month of the season, which consisted of eight games, Wiggins averaged his highest per game average in a single month at 23.3 points.

In the first few months of the 2014-15 season, Wiggins was timid. He didn’t attack the paint as often as he should have, and he used his gorgeous step back jumper too much. Simply put, Wiggins settled. It was his first game against his former team in December when he really broke out as a first year player.

There was one particular play that I won’t forget. Wiggins drove into the paint and Kevin Love was standing near the basket. Wiggins didn’t posterize Love, but it was so awesome that the story-line read, “Wiggins dunks on Kevin Love in first game back in Cleveland”.

Of course, who can forget the whole controversy surrounding Flip Saunders telling Wiggins not to shoot threes. Even though that was talked about often, Flip was correct. As a rookie, Wiggins needed to learn how to score inside before he should be too concerned with being an outside threat.

There are different levels of NBA stardom. Let’s say that on top of the superstar chain resides LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis.

The second-level superstars include Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Marc Gasol, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, Blake Griffin, Damian Lilliard, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Chris Bosh.

And let’s say that the third-level superstars are Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins, Kyle Lowry, John Wall, Bradley Beal, Brook Lopez, Zach Randolph, Tim Duncan, Draymond Green, DeAndre Jordan, Jeff Teague, Al Horford, Mike Conley, Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, and Joakim Noah.

So what level of super-stardom should we expect and reasonably hope for Andrew Wiggins?

I do not expect Wiggins to be on top of the superstar chain. That’s asking too much. The next question we need to answer is: What kind of responsibilities should we expect Andrew Wiggins to handle in a couple of years?

It’s definitely fair to say that he should be guarding the opposing teams best player because he’s already done so during his rookie season. A rough estimate for points per game in the future for Wiggins should be around 23.0-25.0 points per game. Will Wiggins be able to take his teammates to the next level while still maintaining his high point total and high volume defense? Will Wiggins be able to close tight games? The final two questions seems to be what separates a player’s level of stardom.

Because of Andrew’s ability to get to and finish at the rim, his ability to make his teammates better should be easier than most other players. Once Wiggins blows by the defender guarding him, another defender will have to help, which should create opportunities for Wiggins to set-up his teammates for easy buckets.

The Timberwolves didn’t play in many close games last year, but in the few they did play Wiggins was able to finish at the rim down the stretch. Can Wiggins be a closer? Why not?

Here’s one of the games Wiggins helped close.

Andrew Wiggins has a lot of promise entering his second season. Let’s hope he’s the player that we all hope he can be. Let’s hope he becomes a top-ten superstar.

Let’s hope he can lead the Wolves to multiple championships. Let’s hope he can lead the Wolves to becoming the greatest franchise in all of sports.

Did I get carried away?

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