Washington

Kevin Huerter's advice to Aaron Wiggins during NBA Combine

Washington
Huerter and Wiggins

While Kevin Huerter was busy tearing up the Philadelphia 76ers with a breakout Game 7 performance, he still made sure to offer advice to a fellow Terp going through the same process he did three years ago. 

"I've talked to Kevin Huerter on different occasions because I know he was literally in the exact same position where he was debating on where he would be in his future," said Terrapin swingman Aaron Wiggins at his NBA Combine media availability on Friday. 

Huerter's draft stock is quite similar to the feedback Wiggins has received from NBA front offices, he said. Though Huerter left College Park after his sophomore season, Wiggins' incoming decision of whether or not to forgo his senior season of eligibility mirrors what Huerter had to do before Atlanta selected him with the 19th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. 

Huerter's advice for Wiggins, though, wasn't anything out of the ordinary and was quite similar to what Terps coach Mark Turgeon and his staff has been telling him. 

"Do my best, be prepared, be in shape," Wiggins said. "And they're all confident I'd do well in the interviews and they just told me to be myself, play my game, be confident and when the time comes to make the decision. They've told me to focus on the time that I'm in and I'm going through the entire process day-by-day, not thinking about the decision but giving myself the ability to go through it all and when the time comes, I'll make the decision." 

 

Related: Mark Turgeon on how a growth spurt turned Kevin Huerter into an NBA player

Averaging 14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists in a team-high 33.0 minutes per game during the 2020-21 season, Wiggins -- like Huerter -- has a week and a half to decide whether to rejoin what looks to be a promising Maryland squad, or pursue the "life-changing opportunity" to hear his name called on draft night. 

Still, Wiggins is focused on staying in the moment before making a decision before the point of no return on July 7, the date he loses eligibility to return to college basketball for his senior season. Wiggins said he's traveled to work out for the Warriors, Knicks, Celtics, and Cavaliers, though he's had interviews with 20-25 teams.

"I think I've shown teams I'm capable of doing a lot they haven't seen before," Wiggins said. "The feedback I've gotten it seems like they've been surprised and almost caught off guard with some of the things I've shown so I feel confident in my play and throughout this entire process with how I've presented myself."

Wiggins is confident he's a first-round talent with shooting prowess and all-around versatility. Teams have told him to buy into his defensive abilities, while also being aggressive on the offensive end during the  scrimmages against prospects of one of the more stacked classes in recent years.

Taking it one day at a time, Wiggins addressed what he's looking to hear before making a decision of whether or not to remain in the draft process. 

"Obviously, a guarantee of a first-round election would be something no one would pass up on," he said. "For me, it's just based on how I feel with what the teams are telling me and if the teams that like me want to draft me and I'm confident I'd be in a good situation and comfortable there, the teams that I've worked out with, the teams that I've interviewed with, just depending on how it would benefit me if I were to keep my name in there in the future."