Andrew Wiggins remains the centerpiece in a technically-still-unofficial trade between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Cleveland Cavaliers that will send Kevin Love to Ohio, and according to Bill Self, who coached Wiggins at Kansas, the number one overall pick couldn’t be happier. After an NCAA season that saw Wiggins fade into the background until he absolutely had to be the best player on the floor — when his teammate, Joel Embiid (now with Philadelphia), went down for the season with a handful of injuries — Self’s discussion with Wiggins jived with his old player’s tendency to stay in the background if he could.
“When all this trade stuff started, I talked to Andrew and Andrew told me, ‘I hope I get traded,’” Self told reporters, after acknowledging that he originally thought Cleveland would be a great landing spot for the 19-year-old guard. “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, I need to go somewhere where I’m kind of forced into being something as opposed to going in there [Cleveland] where they’re going to be patient with me and I’m going to be a piece.’”
Self also said that he thought Wiggins had known that a trade was in the works since Summer League, although no word could officially come from either team due to NBA rules around trades and tampering. “He’s looking forward to going to Minnesota, even though in a weird way — everybody’d love the opportunity to play with LeBron, which guarantees winning,” Self said. “But the whole thing is, for the longevity of his career, he needs to kind of develop a mindset to be ‘the guy,’ for him to be great, and I think being in Minnesota will help him do that.”