Roster Review | Andrew Wiggins
SF | 6’8, 202 lbs
2017-18 season: 82 games, 82 starts, 36.3 MPG, 17.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 43.8 FG%, 33.1 3P%, 64.3 FT%
When looking at Andrew Wiggins’ stats from last season, you’ll notice a dip in points per game, assists and shooting percentage across the board.
And while Wiggins admitted at the end of the season that it wasn’t his best season, it certainly shouldn’t be considered a bad one.
Wiggins showed more defensively than he ever has during his three-year career and averaged a career-high 1.1 steals per game. Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau eluded to Wiggins’ defensive improvement throughout the season and again at the end.
Among players impacted by the team trading for All-Star Jimmy Butler, Wiggins was probably at the top of the list. Wiggins had to adapt to a new role and it took him a little while to adjust to that. Wiggins was taking 3.2 less shots per game in 2017-18 than he did the previous season. And even by the end of the season, I don’t know if he was fully comfortable. Which is expected. Teams take a while to form and the Wolves had so many new faces.
Wiggins had plenty of moments throughout the season, though. His 40-point game in a road win against the Clippers. The half-court, game-winning shot over the Thunder. In all, Wiggins scored 20 or more points 34 times on the season. Through the first three games in the first round of the playoffs, Wiggins was the team’s best player. He finished with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in the team’s Game 3 win over Houston.
The best player in this series has been Andrew Wiggins.
He did it again tonight.
— Kyle Ratke (@Kyle_Ratke) April 22, 2018
The wild thing when looking at Wiggins’ future is his age. He’s only 23 which seems impossible considering everything he’s accomplished so far as an NBA player. For example, when Butler was 23, he was averaging 8.6 points per game for the Bulls.
This offseason will be a big one for Wiggins. Ball handling will be huge for him and will enable him to get to the basket more. When he is on his way to the rim, he’s tough to stop, but he’ll need better ball handling if he wants to get there more efficiently. He averaged 6.6 free throws per game in 2016-17 and just 3.8 per game in 2018-19. That’s a result of Wiggins not getting to the basket as much, which has a little to do with the team’s spacing as well.
The biggest thing for Wiggins in 2018-19 will be his shooting. He dipped to 43.8 percent from the field, 33.1 percent from deep and 64.3 percent from the free-throw line. If we want to see Wiggins take his game to the next level, that will be key. Wiggins might never be a dead-eye shooter from deep, but if he could creep up to 37-38 percent from the 3-point line, that would help his game vastly.
Wiggins is going to continue to get better because that’s what young players do. He’s probably still two to three years away from even hitting his prime.
The potential hasn’t gone anywhere for Wiggins. The hope is he’ll scratch more of it in 2018-19.