Andrew Wiggins is quickly learning he’s not in Kansas anymore.
How else would you explain how the former Jayhawk star and top player taken in the recent NBA draft arguably now stands as the only one taken in the entire first round truly without a team to call his own?
Soon after selecting Wiggins, Cavs management whisked him to town and dawned him in their wine and gold colors as a signal to fans everywhere of just how committed they were to them and to Wiggins. But no soon as LeBron James made the stunning announcement “I’m going home,” the Cavaliers have been even more intent on giving him the kind of homecoming fit for a king.
In NBA parlance, that translates into assembling the kind of veteran-laden supporting cast the likes of a Kevin Love would surely thrive in. For the most part, in those scenarios, front office thinking also goes rookies be damned or at the very least sacrificed, even if you’re one as decorated, celebrated, and anticipated as long as the 19-year-old Wiggins has been. If, along the way, they made Andrew Wiggins feel as if he was a part of something he was never going to be, then his his feelings also be damned.
“I just want to play for a team that wants me,” an increasingly frustrated and mystified Wiggins told ESPN on Sunday. “So whichever team wants me I’ll play for.”
More and more, that’s looking as if that baptism won’t come with the Cavs, nor playing alongside four-time league MVP James. While the Cavs have officially signed Wiggins to a four-year deal, starting at nearly $6 million per season, word on the street is as soon as the ink on it legally dries he’s bound for Minnesota as the headliner in a package to end in Love.
“At the end of the day you have to remember that the NBA is a business before anything,” Wiggins reflected. “I’m a rookie. I really don’t have too much say.”
Indeed, for the Cavs’ actions have said it all. So obvious are their plans, the NBA has already discontinued selling Wiggins’ Cavs jersey on the league’s official website.
Andrew Wiggins, Cavs fans hardly ever knew you, though the ways and means that make the NBA the business it truly is have never been more on display.