Former Wolves player and coach Sam Mitchell has always been supportive of Andrew Wiggins, but he thinks for Wiggins to unlock his true potential he needs to start at shooting guard, not small forward.
"To me, he's out of position. He's a 2-guard," said Mitchell on NBA TV. "You gotta move him to the 2-guard because the NBA is all about matchups and advantages. When you put him at the 2 he has size and height advantage, and wingspan advantage. When you play him at the 3, he's undersized as a small forward."
Wiggins has spent the majority of his career playing small forward, but that could change next season with a healthy Robert Covington in line to start as the small forward, thus paving the way for Wiggins to line up on a nightly basis as a 6-foot-8 shooting guard.
In 2017-18, the average shooting guard in the NBA was 6'5'' and 204 pounds, while small forwards averaged 6'7.5'' and 216 pounds. Wiggins is listed at 6-foot-8, 194 pounds.
A calmer coach, teammates will help
Mitchell then said that the public's constant questioning of Wiggins' desire and effort will only help him. Problem with that opinion is that Wiggins has been faced with questioned about his effort and desire for years and not much has changed.
Perhaps the biggest change in 2019-20 will be a fresh start with a head coach (Ryan Saunders) who doesn't scream at him the way Tom Thibodeau, not to mention a full offseason and season without Jimmy Butler making him look bad in public.
"Andrew Wiggins is a good, young man. Never was a problem in the locker room, a fantastic teammate," said Mitchell. "And for the days that you really needed to get him going, all I had to do – instead of yelling and screaming at him in front of 20,000 people – you call him in your office, you tell him what he's not doing, you show it to him on film and you can have that tough conversation with him one-on-one."
"If he goes to the right situation, with the right coach that's going to push him the right way and put him at the right position, this kid's talent is untapped. People don't understand it about this kid. This kid can flat out play," Mitchell added.
This isn't the first time Mitchell has come to Wiggins' defense. In 2017, he knocked down the public perception that Wiggins was lazy, compared him to LeBron James (statistically) and predicted he'll play in 7-10 All-Star Games before his career is over.
You can watch the full segment here, courtesy of Dane Moore.