Wiggins Drawing Comparisons to Paul George

NEW YORK — Who can Andrew Wiggins be in the NBA?

ESPN.com’s Chad Ford has one thought.

“The guy he really reminds of the more he’s played in college is Paul George,” Ford told SNY.tv of the Kansas freshman whom he has projected as No.1 in the 2014 NBA Draft.

The Pacers selected the 6-foot-9 George 10th overall in the 2010 Draft out of Fresno State, and Ford sees similarities in their skillsets.

“Very similar even at Fresno State,” he said. “You know, Paul George did not dominate every night. Even as a sophomore, NBA scouts would often walk away saying, ‘I’m not sure what the big deal is about it,’ except that almost in every Paul George game you would see one or two plays that he would make where you would say, ‘There’s not five guys in the NBA who can do that.’ He doesn’t do  it consistently, he doesn’t take over games. But he has a certain combination of physical tools and skills that if all they all came together, he would be dominant.

“I’m not sure Paul George is a transcendent player, but that might be what you have to start looking at with a guy like a Wiggins.”

One veteran NBA scout said he could understand the Wiggins/George comparison.

“Special athleticism, great upside, playing both sides of the ball,” he said.

George has improved every year in the NBA and is currently averaging 23.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists for a Pacers team with the best record in the NBA despite Tuesday’s loss at Miami in which George didn’t get the foul call he wanted in the final seconds when LeBron James appeared to push him in the back.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told SNY.tv recently that none of the elite freshmen — Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Joel Embiid and Aaron Gordon — are “transcendent” the way James and Tim Duncan were.

“Right now I don’t see a transcendent player,” Ford said by way of agreement. “I see several players that have the potential to be that, but they’re not there yet.”

He added: “I don’t think they’ve disappointed but they haven’t shown that level where you’re like, this guy’s going to turn around your franchise. Andrew Wiggins looks a bit like a project right now, Embiid looks like a project. Randle and Parker are safer bets but you don’t quite see the ceiling with either player that says they’re going to turn into a top-10 player in the league.”

I wrote the other day about how Wiggins’ former point guard with CIA Bounce, Tyler Ennis, is succeeding at Syracuse, while Wiggins is still adjusting without a consistent point guard.

“I think the skillset’s all there [for Wiggins],” Ford said. “I just think it needs a lo of polishing. and I think he’s playing without a point guard at Kansas, which makes a difference for all of these young players.

“I think we might be talking a little bit different about Andrew Wiggins if Tyler Ennis was playing point for Kansas right now.”

**For more stories on Andrew Wiggins, click here.

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20 comments
JSTerp
JSTerp

@jerrymeyer247 Fair comparison, but expecting that much development from anyone seems unrealistic. PGs rise is a major outlier

jerrymeyer247
jerrymeyer247

@JSTerp I hear u. Best comparison Ive heard. Though does assume maximum development. Assuming lesser version.

AdamZagoria
AdamZagoria

@jasonhindle Nope, it was Syracuse the whole way. Kid grew up a Cuse fan. Arizona, Memphis, Illinois also in there.

MrAnthony81
MrAnthony81

@tsnmike you gotta call it like you see it. I think LeBron was mature beyond his years

tsnmike
tsnmike

@MrAnthony81 Still proud of comment. Got ripped by Akron writer for putting too much on kid. Six months later, LBJ is on cover of SI!

MrAnthony81
MrAnthony81

@tsnmike I get it. His skill set reminds me a great deal of Magic but a freak physically

tsnmike
tsnmike

@MrAnthony81 I once wrote LeBron (as HS junior) was like seeing "Magic Johnson's head on Michael Jordan's body." Didn't mean it literally.

MrAnthony81
MrAnthony81

@tsnmike I guess maybe "best since"and "next"can get lost in translation. U do good work, Mike. Respect your take.

tsnmike
tsnmike

@MrAnthony81 I read all the people who cover BB talent. Never once did I encounter anyone who said AW was next LBJ. Not once.

tsnmike
tsnmike

@MrAnthony81 I'm not talking about you. I'm talking about the few writers who extrapolated "best since" into Wigs being compared to LBJ.

MrAnthony81
MrAnthony81

@tsnmike wow, mike, I guess my graduate degree must not have included comprehension. I wasn't singling u out specifically.

tsnmike
tsnmike

@MrAnthony81 No, it really wasn't. Some wrote "best since." Apparently those who failed reading comprehension read as comparison.

AdamZagoria
AdamZagoria

@MrAnthony81 @tsnmike SI compared Jabari to Andrew. People said Wiggins might be the best player since LeBron...I never said he was LeBron.