It goes without saying the majority of Canadians would love to see Andrew Wiggins play for the Toronto Raptors. Ever since the superstar in waiting first came onto the scene, we’ve all envisioned him wearing red and white at the ACC.
When Wiggins was initially selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, I was actually excited. After playing and living for a few years in northeastern Ohio, surely he would be desperate to come back home to Toronto? (No offence intended Cleveland.)
However, when the LeBron James deal went down, I became despondent. Suddenly, the Cavaliers were a contender, meaning Wiggins would likely stick around to learn from the best player in the game.
Fortunately, like any emotionally unhinged sports fan, I got my hopes up again when rumours started circulating that Kevin Love wanted to join the Cavaliers. With reports indicating Wiggins would be part of any deal to make this happen, I saw the “opportunity” for Minnesota to take over the role from Cleveland as the living hell hole for the 19-year old.
Of course, there’s no guarantee the man who would be king will end up back in Toronto playing for the Raptors, but we can dream right? As Michael Grange of Sportsnet said, Minnesota is quite possibly the least desirable NBA destination for players to go to. (Heck, it’s even colder that Toronto!)
Grange went on to surmise that spending time as “the man” with the Timberwolves can only help a player who has been compared to Tracy McGrady in terms of his talent and athleticism. Learning how to carry a team will help Wiggins mature, hopefully meaning he will be ready to lead the Raptors to the promised land, if and when he arrives in Toronto.
The Raptors already have a solid young core in place, who are growing together and actually appear to enjoy one another’s company (which can only help). However, the one thing they’re arguably missing is that transcendent superstar (with apologies to DeMar DeRozan, who could still grow into the role).
Okay, I’m sorry. I know I’m getting carried away here – in fact, I’m getting way ahead of myself. Nothing is likely to happen for at least three seasons.
As per Wiggins’ rookie contract, the earliest anything can even begin to transpire is 2017. This is when the Timberwolves can first offer the Toronto native an extension and his reaction could go a long way towards deciding his future in Minnesota.
If the Canadian shows any hesitation, the Timberwolves may consider off-loading him, whereas he could agree to an extension, keeping him in Minnesota until around 2021. As such, even though Wiggins has previously said he would like to play for the Raptors, fans and media alike will have to show some patience. For now.