Andrew Wiggins could have been in a high school homecoming dance just two years ago, but the (barely) 20-year-old will feel a real homecoming Wednesday night when the Timberwolves take on the Raptors in Toronto.
Wiggins is from Vaughan, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, and the expectation is that he'll receive a very loud and very warm reception when he's introduced to the crowd at Air Canada Centre.
“You’re talking about the prodigal son,” acting Wolves head coach Sam Mitchell said of Wiggins' return, according to the Star Tribune. “He’s gotten so much hype. Things have changed there. Basketball has grown so fast. Oh, yeah. This is going to be big.”
Mitchell, who coached the Raptors from 2004-08, is the acting head coach while Flip Saunders is away from the team for a personal reason. The Associated Press reports Saunders is with his ailing father.
This will be Wiggins' first game on his home soil since being drafted first overall last summer.
"Wiggins is looking every bit like the once-in-a-generation player many pegged him to be even while still playing high school at Vaughan Secondary School," Toronto Sun columnist Mike Ganter wrote.
Wiggins is coveted in Canada, and Raptors President and General Manager Masai Ujiri recently said he is "100 percent" certain he'll bring a Canadian player back to the Raptors. One TV station in Toronto thinks Ujiri wants nothing more than that player to be Wiggins.