Andrew Wiggins was selected with the number one overall pick in this summer’s draft by the Cavaliers, and was forced to conduct awkward interviews in his new team’s jersey, even though the likelihood of him ever playing in Cleveland seemed to be diminishing on a daily basis.
Wiggins, of course, will be involved as a primary piece in Cleveland’s trade-to-be with the Timberwolves for Kevin Love. But because it can’t be official for 30 days after the signing of his rookie contract, his jerseys were being sold (for the most part) as if he’d be with the Cavaliers by the time next season began.
But we all knew that was a long shot, and the company responsible for actually manufacturing these jerseys decided to hedge its bets.
A spokesman for Fanatics, which also services the NBA’s online store, said Thursday that the company — which specializes in on-demand customization — actually never made the No. 21 Wiggins Cavs jerseys that fans ordered from the sites.
Spokesman Meier Raivich said the site had up until a month after Wiggins signed (until Aug. 23) to deliver the jerseys, but as reports swirled that Wiggins could be traded in a deal for the Timberwolves’Kevin Love, as was confirmed Thursday, the company decided to be cautious and not print the replicas.
That’s what appeared to be going on when the jerseys were briefly said to be “discontinued,” but the NBA said that wasn’t the case.
Regardless of what the reality is (i.e., whether or not the manufacturer had a tip that Wiggins would in fact be dealt), this was a smart business decision. Anyone who ordered a replica jersey would have received one eventually, and those who ordered custom ones that have already shipped are eligible to return them for a full refund if that’s what they choose to do.