Andrew Wiggins’s lofty spot on the Top 100 reflects a strong belief that the 21-year-old will improve even more under Tom Thibodeau.
Wiggins might as well wear a target on his back. Through two seasons, the highly-touted 2014 No. 1 pick has given critics plenty of juicy nit-picking material: His Timberwolves have been bad, he’s emerged as a bit of an inefficient gunner, he’s not a particularly good rebounder despite his remarkable physical tools, he’s shown limited ability as a playmaker for others and he’s not yet a lockdown defender. Patience is still in order. Indeed, Wiggins (20.7 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 2 APG), who just turned 21 in February, has yet to play for a coach with a modern approach to offense or with a cast of teammates who are all pulling in the same direction. Despite those challenges, he’s proven himself to be a reliable night-to-night scorer, a go-to option in the post, a skilled drawer of fouls, and an extremely durable player given his high-usage role and heavy minutes burden. The next steps are straightforward: cut down on the long twos, improve as a catch-and-shoot option from outside, take a step forward as a distributor in pick-and-roll scenarios and gobble up every piece of defensive advice new coach Tom Thibodeau has to offer. Given how high Wiggins’s talent level remains high relative to his age group and how lost the Timberwolves were when he arrived two years ago, it would be foolish to believe that his current flaws are bound to endure. (Last year: No. 91)
+ Logged more minutes before his age-21 season (5,814) than every player in NBA history besides LeBron James (per Basketball-reference.com)
+ He’s one of only five under-21 players in the last decade to average 20+ PPG for a season
– His sky-high ratio of shots to assists is Rudy Gay-esque
– He’s yet to fulfill pre-draft expectations that he would be a plus defender