College coach: Wiggins want to be in Minnesota
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Cleveland Cavaliers guard/forward Andrew Wiggins told Kansas coach Bill Self that he welcomes a trade that will send him to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Wiggins, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, is a key piece in the proposed Kevin Love deal.
Wiggins told his former college coach that playing with the Timberwolves will be better for his long-term future.
Wiggins was a guest instructor at Self’s basketball camp in suburban Kansas City on Sunday. He declined to speak to reporters at the camp.
“When all this trade stuff started, I talked to Andrew and Andrew told me, “I hope I get traded,” Self said. “And I’m like, ‘No you don’t.’ And he said, “Coach, I do. It’s better for me, knowing my personality and what I need to do, to go somewhere where I’m forced to be something as opposed to going in there where they’re going to be patient with me and I’m going to be a piece.”
It was widely reported last week that the Timberwolves agreed to send Love, an All-Star power forward, to the Cavaliers for Wiggins, former No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett and a future first-round draft pick.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the reported deal was agreed to, Wiggins refused to be drawn in to any trade talk.
“Whatever happens is out of my control,” he said. “I’m not worrying about it right now.”
Because the Cavaliers signed Wiggins to a contract on July 24, they cannot officially trade him until Aug. 23 — 30 days after the signing. The teams can work out a deal, but it cannot be made official until the 30-day moratorium passes.
Self initially believed that Wiggins was in an ideal situation playing alongside star forward LeBron James in Cleveland, but now thinks that Wiggins is better off in Minnesota playing a starring role.
“Even though in a weird way everybody would love the opportunity to play with LeBron because you’re guaranteed winning, for the longevity of his career, he needs to develop that mindset to be the guy, for him to be great, and I think being in Minnesota will help him do that,” Self said.
Wiggins should be a good fit for the Timberwolves, who have a young point guard in Ricky Rubio running coach Flip Saunders’ up-tempo offense.
“I think he’s handled everything great. He’s excited,” Self said. “I think the whole thing that’s been blown out of proportion a bit is that he’s been in limbo. He’s known since the summer that he’d be traded. It’s OK. In some ways he’s looking forward to going to Minnesota.”