Andrew Wiggins — the presumptive No. 1 overall pick next draft, a wing who can score in a variety of ways and is thought to have a Durant-level impact on a team — is just like every kid who grew up rooting for and dreaming of playing for his hometown team. He has taken shots in the gym, picturing himself in their jersey, counting down “3…2…1” and hitting the game winner.
Wiggans, who will play next season for Kansas, grew up in Toronto.
And he told esnewsreporting his dream is to play for the Raptors (as transcribed by the Toronto Sun).
After winning the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award Tuesday, Wiggins told esnewsreporting.com he wants to win a national championship at Kansas, would love to play Kobe Bryant one-on-one and considers Michael Jordan the greatest ever, before talk turned to his preferred NBA home.
“I would like to say the Raptors, I want to play for them,” said Wiggins, who has been spotted many times sporting a Raptors cap.
Toronto, however, is not one of the teams going “woeful for Wiggins” next season — they have Rudy Gay, DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, and an improved Jonas Valanciunas (based on Summer League). The Raptors are not going to contend for a title next season, but they are not going to be in the running for the worst record in the NBA, either. Which makes it unlikely that they land Wiggins as a lot of teams are going to try and be bad to be near the top of a deep draft (that will be a big story the second half of next season).
But a boy can dream.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.
Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?
The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.
There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.
Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.
What next for Boston?
In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.
Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:
First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.
What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.
At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.
And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.