Timberwolves’ Wiggins responds to being left off top 100 players list

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Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins, right, drives past Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton during the first half of an NBA basketball game. (David Zalubowski/AP)

“There’s not 100 players better than me, so it doesn’t matter what people think.”

That’s what Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Andrew Wiggins told ESPN in response to being left off its list of the top 100 best NBA players for the 2019-20 season.

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. My job is to come out here and hoop, and that’s what I’m going to do,” Wiggins said.

The Toronto native was selected first overall in the 2014 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers but has spent his entire playing career with the Timberwolves.

The 19.4 points per game Wiggins has averaged since debuting in 2014-15 ranks 29th among all NBA players during that stretch.

His field goal percentage has declined in each of the past four seasons, though, and the 24-year-old has faced criticism for not yet living up to the five-year, maximum-salary contract that kicked in one year ago.

“Everyone is counting pockets. Some people are mad about (the contract), some people are happy for you,” Wiggins added. “That’s how the world goes, especially when you’ve got something they don’t have or do something they don’t do. That’s how the world goes. Even when I averaged almost 24 points and got the max deal, people were still saying stuff. Look at max players and some max players don’t average as much, but it is what it is. I’m just trying to get right, get back on track.”

There were a handful of small forwards ranked between 90-100 on ESPN’s list that edged out Wiggins. They were: Otto Porter Jr. (90), Danilo Gallinari (91), Justise Winslow (94) and Robert Covington (97).

Of these players, only Gallinari averaged more points than Wiggins in 2018-19. Obviously there’s more to what makes a player effective than merely point production. Wiggins’s ancillary stats aren’t nearly as impressive as his ability to score, which was a contributing factor to him being omitted. For example, his wins share was a measly 0.6 last season.

Giannis Antetokounmpo topped the list of 100 with Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, James Harden and Anthony Davis rounding out the top five.

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