Long gone are the days of one and done in the NBA. Now players are forced to endure one year of college, at the least, if they’d like to play in the NBA.
Since the CBA bumped the NBA’s age limit to 19 instead of 18 in 2006, there is an ongoing debate between the supporters of that rule and its opponents. Some think it’s pointless, and some think that it does young players good to go through the ranks of the NCAA.
Throughout the lifespan of the NBA, a few players succeeded going straight from high school. However, for every Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, there have been Kwame Browns and Jonathan Benders.
That brings us to Andrew Wiggins. The ultra-talented high school junior shows a lot of promise as an NBA player. He has elite athleticism, along with NBA size – measuring in at 6-7 and 205 pounds. Wiggins obviously has the talent to be a top pick in the NBA Draft whenever he chooses to come out. But the question is if he’s ready to make the jump now.
From The Kentucky Kernel, his coach Rob Fulford of Huntington Prep High School said, “I mean, his game is at an extremely high level and he’s on an entirely different level than anyone at his age right now. I think it’s just kind of fine-tuning things at this point. He could start for an NBA team tomorrow.”
Wiggins is obviously talented as a player right now, and from his interviews, you can tell that his head is in the right place. He’s sharp physically and mentally. But calling him a starter in the NBA right now is a bit of a reach.
Think about some of the players the NBA has to offer at both forward positions. Wiggins would be playing against the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari, and many others (assuming he plays the small forward position).
At power forward – since he still has room to grow – the road gets much tougher. He would cover the likes of Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol, Chris Bosh, Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, and other various All-Star-caliber talents.
Wiggins is still young and growing as a player. He doesn’t know the speed of the NBA game and hasn’t played up to his own talent level yet. Before long, he’ll be going up against players who will more than likely be on the same level as him — or even better in some cases.
Wiggins hasn’t even seen the best that the NCAA has to offer yet. Let’s give him some time to play tougher competition instead of putting him on a pedestal right now. I’m sure it’ll pay off for Wiggins in the end.
-MICHAEL SYKES II
Could Andrew Wiggins start in the NBA right now?
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