After a successful three-year stretch at Maryland, Aaron Wiggins is officially taking his talents to the NBA. The pressing question is, where will the 6’5 200 pounds North Carolina native land? With steady improvement each year with the Terrapins and a solid three-point shot in his arsenal, the potential fits across the Association are endless.
Aaron Wiggins 2021 NBA Draft Profile
Wiggins was a bit of a late bloomer as his real breakout season was the 2020-2021 campaign in which he posted impressive numbers across the board with 14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game, earning All-Big Ten honorable mention. Wiggins improved every year he was in college. As a freshman, Wiggins requested to be a reserve, and he fit well in the role. As a sophomore, Wiggins continued to build upon that role earning Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year. Many across the country figured Wiggins would return for his senior season. After a strong performance in the NCAA tournament where he scored a career-high 27 points in a 96-77 loss to Alabama, the prospects of being selected in the 2021 NBA felt too good to pass up. Wiggins would ultimately score over 1,000 points and grab nearly 450 rebounds during his college career.
Wiggins has a nice smooth game on offense that compliments his size. He is not a phenomenal athlete, but Wiggins does a great job of using his speed and size to attack the basket at certain angles and finish strong with dunks when necessary. The NBA is a shooters league, and Wiggins does offer some glimpses of a good shooter on the next level. Wiggins shot no lower than 35% from three-point range in three seasons and hit a career-high 41% of his threes as a freshman.
Rebounding and defense are aspects of Wiggins’ game that will help him at the next level. Wiggins is good at using his frame to put his body on opponents and grab easy boards around the basket. This season Wiggins grabbed double-digit rebounds six times. Wiggins’ defense never popped off of the television screen when watching him play, but he rarely lets his man beat him off the dribble and uses his 6’9″ wingspan to his advantage.
One central area that sticks out that isn’t fixable is a lack of explosiveness. Rarely does Wiggins ever blow by a defender with his strength and speed off the dribble. This can potentially spell trouble for the 22-year-old at the next level. Wiggins accumulated a lot of points in the fast break on the collegiate level; that’s another issue to monitor as more athletic players might prevent him from scoring easy baskets on a fast break.
An inconsistent outside shooting stroke is another concern. Will a team get the 2018-2019 version of Wiggins, where he shot 41.3 percent from the three-point range or is the 2021 version at 35.6 percent more of a reality? How teams feel about his willingness to become a more consistent outside shooter will be paramount in Wiggins landing on a team draft night.
NBA Player Comparison
Mikal Bridges. Wiggins doesn’t have the same upside as Bridges, but it’s not unrealistic to think he can have a similar impact as the Suns forward is having right now. Bridges can score when needed, runs the courts well, and play good defense. Like Wiggins in college, Bridges uses a good basketball IQ and quick decision-making to counter some of his athletic deficiencies. If all breaks the right way for Wiggins, he can transform himself into this type of player.
NBA Draft Projection
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