Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Andrew Wiggins became the first Canadian-born player to be named Rookie of the Year in the National Basketball Association. The 20-year-old Wiggins was the only unanimous choice for the NBA Rookie First Team in the voting done by 130 American and Canadian sportswriters and broadcasters and collected the most votes for the 2014-2015 NBA Rookie Team.
Wiggins had a total of 260 points to lead all rookies in the voting, followed by Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic (258 points); Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel (252); Orlando Magic point guard Elfrid Payton (250) and Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jeremy Clarkson (200).
Named to the NBA Rookie Second Team were: Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (142 points); Timberwolves guard Zach Lavine (135); Brooklyn Nets wingman Bojan Bogdanovic (107); Denver Nuggets center Jusuf Nurkic (97); and New York Knicks point guard Langston Galloway (72).
Born in Toronto, Wiggins was the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. He led all rookies in scoring and was second on the Timberwolves, with an average of 16.9 points per game. Wiggins also averaged 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals and played in all 82 regular season games for Minnesota.
Wiggins, who played for Kansas in college basketball, was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers, then traded to the Timberwolves before the start of the regular season as part of a package deal for superstar Kevin Love, who was the previous franchise player in Minnesota. In his first year with the Timberwolves, Wiggins showed flashes of brilliance consistently throughout the season and immediately was tagged as Love’s replacement.
Despite finishing with the worst record in the league, the Timberwolves (16-66) have been one of the most exciting and watchable teams in the league, owing to the presence of Wiggins plus other young players in Lavine and Ricky Rubio, among others.
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