Andrew Wiggins, the NBA's top draft pick, told his former college coach that he wants to be traded from Cleveland to Minnesota because he believes it will be better for his long-term future, the Associated Press reports.
Wiggins joined Bill Self, his head coach at Kansas, as a guest instructor at Self's basketball camp in suburban Kansas City on Sunday. Wiggins did not talk to reporters who were there, but Self did. He said Wiggins told him he hopes to be traded away from the Cavaliers.
"'It's better for me, knowing my personality and what I need to do, to go somewhere where I'm forced to be something, as opposed to going in there where they're going to be patient with me and I'm going to be a piece,'" Wiggins said, according to Self.
Wiggins is likely to get his wish. Several media outlets have reported that Cleveland and Minnesota have reached a deal to trade Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick to the Timberwolves in exchange for All-Star forward Kevin Love.
Self indicated that Wiggins would not have a chance to come into his own as a leading player if he's on a team with three big stars like Love, LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, the AP notes.
NBC Sports points out the Cavaliers drafted Wiggins before they re-signed LeBron James. Now that James is back in Cleveland, the team went from rebuilding to contending — so getting an All-Star like Love on the roster is more important now than waiting for a rookie like Wiggins to reach his full potential a few years down the road.
"I think he's handled everything great. He's excited," Self said to the AP. "He's known since the summer that he'd be traded. It's OK. In some ways he's looking forward to going to Minnesota."
The deal cannot be completed until Aug. 23, when Wiggins is eligible to be traded.