Sixers seem to have three-mendous interest in Wiggins

Wiggins
Wiggins
Posted: June 19, 2014

MANY HISTORICAL events have happened in 3 days. The 1969 music festival Woodstock; Jonah's stint in the belly of a whale; and in 684 B.C., the usual 1-day Olympic Games were expanded to 3.

Perhaps the past 3 days will go a long way in changing the culture of the 76ers organization. On Sunday, Kansas product Andrew Wiggins arrived in town. He was given a physical Monday and did some on-court work yesterday at the team's practice facility at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The fact that the Sixers courted Wiggins for so long probably goes a long way to validating talk that he is the main man on their radar. Whether they can stand pat with the No. 3 pick and still get him remains to be seen. They have most likely had numerous discussions with Cleveland about moving up to get to the No. 1 spot. But, as general manager Sam Hinkie has said, numerous discussions with many teams at this time of the year are common.

Still, it's obvious that Hinkie & Company are interested in the 6-8 swingman, who averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds in his only season with the Jayhawks.

In Wiggins, the Sixers would be getting an incredible athlete who can run the floor with anyone, possesses an above-average outside game, and has the ability to become a defensive force in the league, helped by his 7-foot wingspan. At just 19 years old and with a body that seems primed to add weight to the 200 pounds it now carries, the potential for Wiggins seems limitless.

While his body may take time to adjust, there are other parts of his game that people think is more than NBA-ready.

"Where he is completely ready for the league is from the mental standpoint. Andrew couldn't be more prepared," said his college coach, Bill Self. "The way he handled all the hype that surrounded him before he even got to us was amazing. This dude has already gone through [media-wise] what very few guys have been through with the exception of the great, great ones, and probably none of them had the scrutiny placed on them that he did. I think that will make him a perfect leader for a team like the Sixers. Being a leader is something that he won't shy away from."

What Wiggins did shy away from the past couple of days was the media. Monday, while reporters gathered outside the entrance to the PCOM gym, security and Philadelphia police asked them to move off campus. Wiggins was taken away in an SUV a few hours later. Yesterday, team public relations director Mike Preston apologized for what had happened on Monday. While the gathered media was allowed to stay on campus, Wiggins again slipped into a waiting car without talking.

Hinkie has said in the past, and Preston reiterated yesterday, that it is the team's policy to not make players who are working out for them available to the media.

So what, if anything, will happen before the June 26 draft? We shall see. But Andrew Wiggins certainly seems like he'll be a big part of whatever the Sixers do.


On Twitter: @BobCooney76

Blog: ph.ly/Sixerville

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