Wiggins drafted first overall
NEW YORK—Andrew Wiggins walked proudly across the stage to take his spot as the NBA’s No. 1 overall draft pick—the culmination of a path he’s been pointed down for years.
The Cleveland Cavaliers selected the 19-year-old sensation from Vaughan, Ont., making Wiggins the second-consecutive Canadian they’ve taken with the top pick.
Wiggins said the ripple effect in Canada will be “huge,” and he’s proud of that fact.
“It opens doors for all the youth in Canada, it gives them hope,” he remarked.
“Coming up when I was in Canada, I wasn’t ranked, I wasn’t known,” Wiggins noted. “I didn’t really have any offers or anything like that.
“I just kept my head straight, kept working on my game, and look where I am today.
“I just think it gives everyone in Canada hope that they can do the same thing and accomplish whatever I do,” he reasoned.
“Because it’s possible if they work hard.”
Wiggins was the star on an historic night for Canadian basketball.
Nik Stauskas of Mississauga, Ont. went eighth to the Sacramento Kings while Tyler Ennis of Brampton, Ont. was selected 18th by the Phoenix Suns.
Wiggins has been intensely focused on the top spot—chalking it up to his competitive nature.
So confident was he last night at Barclays Center, he chose a killer suit jacket that screamed No. 1—a black Waraire Boswell jacket with a white floral print.
“We just wanted to do something different, really stand out, try to win it on both ends, the stylish points and to come No. 1,” Wiggins said of the suit that was specially-designed for him.
In a draft that has been perhaps the mostly highly-anticipated in a decade, Wiggins has long been touted as the top pick.
The 6’8” guard has been called possibly the biggest star since LeBron James.
He’s been in the spotlight for years—a YouTube video of him dunking with ease as a 13-year-old has almost five million views.
“A thousand thoughts are going through my head right now,” Wiggins said. “It’s a dream come true. . . .
“Going to high school and college, the opportunity and possibility of going No. 1 came into talk,” he noted. “And now I accomplished that, so it’s just a crazy feeling right now.
“I don’t even know how I feel,” he added. “It doesn’t even feel real right now.”
When his name was called, Wiggins slipped on a maroon Cleveland hat, hugged his dad, Mitchell, and mom, Marita, and then strode on stage to shake hands with commissioner Adam Silver, who was calling the first round for the first time since replacing David Stern.
Wiggins makes it three Canadians playing in Cleveland—the Cavs took forward Tristan Thompson of Brampton, Ont. fourth overall in the 2011.
The Cavaliers, meanwhile, also are hoping to bring LeBron James back to Cleveland. And if that happened, a new teammate would be glad to welcome him.
“I want to win,” Wiggins said. “If he wants to win, we’d be good together.”
Milwaukee selected Duke forward Jabari Parker with the No. 2 pick while Wiggins’ Kansas teammate Joel Embiid—a big question mark going into the draft after he underwent surgery for a stress fracture in his foot—went third to Philadelphia.
Arizona forward Aaron Gordon went fourth to Orlando, followed by Australian guard Dante Exum to Utah.
The Toronto Raptors surprised many when they selected Bruno Caboclo of Brazil as their first-round pick (No. 20 overall).