This day has been expected since the day he sent his letter of intent into Kansas, but it is now official.
Andrew Wiggins has declared for the 2014 NBA Draft.
But the potential No. 1 pick did say all the right things at his press conference, next to coach Bill Self.
“At the end of the day, I decided I was going to enter the draft,” Wiggins said in a streamed press conference. “It wasn’t an easy decision, because the fans showed me so much love.”
Wiggins is potentially the No. 1 pick — he is currently on top of DraftExpress’s mock draft and isn’t lower than No. 2 on any team’s draft board that we have heard of. The only guy who could knock him out of the top spot is fellow Jayhawk Joel Embiid, and it depends on what NBA doctors say when they get a closer look at Embiid’s back (and which team wins the NBA draft lottery).
Wiggins is the most hyped guy coming out of college since the Greg Oden/Kevin Durant draft. Wiggins is all about potential — he dominated at points at Kansas and showed stretches of his ridiculously high ceiling. He is incredibly athletic, can create his own shot, can rebound and defends well. Yes, he needs more polish and development — his shot needs to be more consistent (35 percent from three) and his handles need to improve — but he is seen as a good person with a good work ethic who could live up to those standards.
The only question with Wiggins is will he be consistently aggressive a the NBA level. He had a habit of letting others take charge early in the season then had a bad NCAA Tournament game not asserting himself, but because of the potential that is not going to scare teams off.
If he is selected No. 1, he will be the second consecutive Canadian taken No. 1 (Anthony Bennett was taken first overall by the Cavaliers last year).
Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.
Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”
That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)
Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.
But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.
The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.
Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.
Enter Greg Smith.
Scott Kushner of The Advocate:
Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.
But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.
Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.