Andrew Wiggins not No. 1 Pick? Julius Randle, Others factor in

andrew-wiggins-not-number-oneThe 2013-14 NBA Season is one that’s expected to see several teams tank just to have a chance at Andrew Wiggins. For the past two years, NBA clubs have been salivating at the prospect of landing the number one pick and grabbing the 6’8″, do-it-all forward. But is Wiggins really the first true slam-dunk number one pick since LeBron James?

Most teams are convinced so, but others have their doubts when it comes to his on-court efforts. “Until Wiggins learns how to play hard,” said an anonymous NBA scout, “he’s Kansas’ third-best freshman.” Another long-time scout said, “Wiggins has been advertised pretty high. Is he that good? The jury is still out.”

Okay, so this isn’t the general consensus by all NBA GM’s and scouts, but it is enough to consider opening up the discussion that Wiggins may not go first overall. The 2014 NBA Draft class is loaded with talent and several other players who, in a different year, might easily be the top pick. 6’9″ Kentucky freshman Julius Randle is one player who immediately comes to mind. According to DraftExpress, he’s the predicted number two pick behind Wiggins. So it’s not unfathomable to think that, with an excellent college season, Randle could leap up to the top pick.

Other players who could sway GMs’ minds include Australian combo guard Dante Exum, Duke freshman Jabari Parker, Arizona freshman Aaron Gordon and Oklahoma State point guard Marcus Smart. Even Wiggins’ fellow Kansas frosh teammates, 7-footer Joel Embiid and guard Wayne Selden, could factor into the number-one pick debate.

andrew-wiggins-not-number-one-1An NBA scout discussed several of these players by saying, “Julius Randle is the real deal. Jabari Parker is really good. Dante Exum, he was super impressive at the Hoop Summit at practice and is smooth and can shoot it. Marcus Smart, if a team needs a point guard, he can be a high pick, too. This upcoming draft class is outstanding.”

Despite these glowing reviews of other players, some teams are still fixated on Wiggins. His talent first shined through back at the 2012 Hoop Summit, when the Toronto native dominated an exhibition between the World Team and United States. Wiggins scored 20 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and blocked two shots against the US team, which included Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel.

As alluded to before, many people around the league have compared Wiggins’ potential impact to LeBron. Other scouts believe that, in the “worst-case scenario,” he’d be similar to Tracy McGrady or Vince Carter. In any of these scenarios, the Canadian still would be an outstanding, All-Star-caliber player who has a great career.

Beyond simple comparisons, the league loves Wiggins’ athleticism and upside. His dad, Michael Wiggins, played in the NBA while his mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, was a track star for Canada. He’s also considered to be a solid citizen who doesn’t get into trouble off of the court.

Still, Andrew Wiggins isn’t the once-thought guaranteed number one selection that many thought previously. The biggest scare is his ability to continually stay motivated and play hard. This could be the main thing that keeps him from ascending to a LeBron James, or flaming out amidst the hype, like Omar Cook and Sebastian Telfair did.

Tracy McGrady annoys MJD with Comments on Jacksonville Jaguars

tracy-mcgrady-jacksonville-jaguarsFrom Terrell Owens to Randy Moss, we’ve hear plenty of NFL players flirt with the idea of playing in the NBA. Tracy McGrady recently came up with a reverse scenario when he tweeted about joining the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Of course, McGrady’s tweet was more of a light-hearted jab at what many people perceive to be the NFL’s worst team this season. Here’s a look at the now-retired, seven-time NBA All-Star’s tweet:

Jacksonville @jaguars need to bring me on in for a tryout at QB or receiver!

This line might have inspired a little laughter around the sports world. But one guy who isn’t laughing is Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew. The three-time Pro Bowler fired back with the following:

You’re more than welcome to sign a waiver and come out to a live practice. We’ll see how it works out for you, if it’s that easy.

maurice-jones-drewMJD did slightly tone it down after a reporter joked about how McGrady wouldn’t last 5 plays, to which he said, “Hey you never know, he might be tougher than people think.” But it’s pretty obvious that he’s not amused with the disparaging comment about his team.

Of course, you can’t really argue with the fact that Jacksonville is quickly becoming a joke around the league. This is especially the case when you look at their offense, which has posted the following stats:

– 5.5 PPG (32nd in NFL)
– 213 total YPG (32nd)
– 160 passing YPG (28th)
– 52.5 rushing YPG (30th)

As for Jones-Drew, he’s off to a terrible, injury-plagued start after gaining just 72 yards on 25 carries. Don’t expect things to get any better for him or Jacksonville as a whole since they feature Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne at quarterback. The latter is slightly better, but not exactly capable of leading this team to many victories. And as for Gabbert, he hasn’t done anything to live up to being the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Most analysts and reporters expect the Jags to finish dead last in the NFL, which will set them up for the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. And it’s all but a given that they’ll take a quarterback with this pick in hopes of erasing their mistake of trading up to get Gabbert.

All in all, it looks like MJD is in for another rough year with his team of eight years. That said, firing back at people like McGrady is about the only thing he can look forward to.