Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/12/13
The heralded 2014 NBA draft class is often projected as the "Andrew Wiggins' Sweepstakes." Which team will win the draft lottery and the right to draft Wiggins? Who's tanking for Wiggins? What franchise will be lucky enough to rebuild around Wiggins? For some NBA fans, the June draft centers around the Kansas freshman and only him. There are a few NBA front-office executives and scouts, however, who aren't completely sure Wiggins will even be the No. 1 overall pick. "Until Wiggins learns how to play hard," one NBA scout said, "he's Kansas' third-best freshman." Not many talent evaluators are that critical of Wiggins, but they do agree that he's not the only college player who will merit a close look this season. Duke freshman forward Jabari Parker, Kentucky freshman forward Julius Randle, Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart and Australian guard Dante Exum – in addition to Wiggins – could make this a particularly strong draft for NBA teams. Wiggins and Parker will face off on Tuesday when Kansas plays Duke in the Champions Classic in Parker's hometown of Chicago. Randle is playing in the other game of the Classic doubleheader when Kentucky takes on Michigan State, giving scouts a chance to see three of the top prospects in one location. "Wiggins has been advertised pretty high," one long-time NBA scout said. "Is he that good? The jury is still out." Wiggins' hype began to grow after he had 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks to lead the World team to a 84-75 win over Shabazz Muhammad, Nerlens Noel and the United States at the 2012 Hoop Summit, an exhibition pitting the top American high school seniors against the top international teams. A Toronto native, Wiggins then became the first Canadian to be named the 2013 Naismith National Player of the Year as the top high school player. The 6-foot-8 swingman was also named to the Associated Press All-American preseason first team, despite being a freshman. While Wiggins has drawn some comparisons to LeBron James, one NBA scout said Wiggins' "worst-case scenario" is he's Vince Carter. Another scout likened him to Tracy McGrady. "He's not LeBron," one NBA general manager said. "It's not his fault regarding all the hype. People say he's pretty humble. He's a top-three pick for sure, if not No. 1."
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