Andrew Wiggins Should Still Have Cavs Fans Asking ‘What If?’


Mar 4, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) dribbles the ball down the court in the second half against the Denver Nuggets at Target Center. The Nuggets won 100-85. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Can we all agree that we would’ve liked to  have seen Andrew Wiggins grow along side LeBron James. Yes, it’s one of the easier hot takes to take in Cleveland sports, but Kevin Love has me wondering about how much better the Cavs (40-25) are without the Timberwolves’ freshman.

Love is a great player, but it’s a huge letdown to see the 6-foot-10 forward jack up trey after trey. In Friday’s loss to the Hawks, he took 11 shots, including 10 from 3-point range!

It’s a shot Love has always been able to make, but shouldn’t a giant be able to get himself some higher percentage shots closer to the rim? Too often it looks like he’s beingout-physicaled near the rim, which is strange, because he’s had success in that area in the past.

Mar 4, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) shoots a basket against the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre. Cleveland defeated Toronto 120-112. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

And then there are nights like Saturday’s win over the Suns, when Love goes 3-of-5 from downtown, and Cavs’ fans can’t get enough of the UCLA product connecting from 3-point range.

Maybe it’s the Cleveland in me and I’m forever planning for the future. But I see Tim Duncan in San Antonio and I think about how the Spurs drafted him out of Wake Forest while David Robinson still had some gas left in the tank.

The Twin Towers won a title together, Robinson retired, and Duncan kept on winning. That’s sustained success, and the thing that keeps festering in the back of my mind. James is already breaking down, and  while his prime still has time remaining, injuries seem to be easier to come by the older a player gets. Just look at Kobe Bryant.

Wiggins could be playing alongside James and Kyrie Irving, working toward a title now–while at the same time preparing himself to one day take the torch from James.

I wrote in favor of the Love trade prior to the season, and I still like it. Vegas now has the Cavs as the favorites to win it all. The Love trade signaled Cleveland was going to stop being Cleveland. One of the city’s franchises was finally going all in to deliver a title.

But don’t convince me Andrew Wiggins wouldn’t fit in with this team. He’s an athletic forward/guard who can DEFEND. His offensive game still needs honed, but we’ve all seen enough to know he has talent.

Hindsight says the Cavs made the right move, especially because Cleveland lacks big men on its roster with Anderson Varejao‘s season ending injury, and Brendan Haywood just holding a roster spot.

Love is a rare talent, averaging 16.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Finding players who can average double-digits in scoring and rebounding don’t grow on trees. But if his play doesn’t help win a title this season, or in the future, we may always be wondering about Wiggins.

Trending Up: 

Kelsey Mitchell: With 24.5 points per game, the Ohio State freshman shared the Big Ten conference player of the year award with Minnesota’s Amanda Zahui B. Mitchell was a unanimous choice as freshman of the year in both the coaches’ and media polls.

Her 24.5 points per game lead the Big Ten. An argument can be made that Mitchell is the best female player in the country.

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