Wizards

How could Maryland's Aaron Wiggins fit with the Wizards

Wizards

The Washington Wizards are picking in the middle of the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft. Whether they trade up, down or stay firm at No. 15, here is the latest in our series on draft prospects whom the Wizards could consider selecting.

2021 NBA Draft Prospect Preview: Aaron Wiggins

School/team: Maryland

Position: Wing

Age: 22

Height: 6-5

Weight: 190

Wingspan: 6-9

2020/21 stats: 31 G, 14.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.5 bpg, 44.6 FG% (5.3/11.9), 35.6 3PT% (1.8/5.2), 77.2 FT%

Player comparison: Aaron Nesmith

Projections: NBC Sports Washington N/A, Ringer N/A, NBADraft.net 41st, Bleacher Report N/A

5 things to know:

- Aaron Wiggins is a multi-dimensional wing scorer who may project to be a solid 3-and-D player in the NBA. While his shooting numbers fluctuated throughout his Maryland career from great to average, he was always in a position to make a big shot. When he was on, the 6-foot-5 wing had games where he simply could not miss from deep and torched opponents. 

- One element of his game that is vastly underrated is his defensive ability. Having a 6'9" wingspan when covering guards will help with that too. Most of his defensive lapses can boil down to mistakes or effort. Rarely do you see Wiggins' athleticism get overmatched in a one-on-one scenario. 

- Originally, Wiggins was not going to be a part of the NBA's Chicago Combine. However, after showing out at the G-League Elite Camp, he was given a late invitation with some other prospects. Across two scrimmage games, he scored 13 points while shooting 59% from the field. In the first game, he was the leading scorer. Those strong shooting numbers didn't translate to the actual Combine. In 21 minutes, he only made one shot out of nine attempts and didn't hit a single three in the Combine scrimmage. 

 

- Through the first two years in College Park, Wiggins was much better coming off the bench than he was as a starter. He thrived as a bench scorer. His composure freshman year earned him a spot in the starting rotation, but he then went to head coach Mark Turgeon and asked to start games on the sidelines. During his sophomore year, he kept coming off the bench but was putting up starters numbers. 

- At the Combine, he posted the fourth-best shuttle time of all prospects - in the midst of lottery picks Corey Kispert and Scottie Barnes. The Combine measurements also hurt Wiggins in a way. His 6-foot-5 height with shoes was an inch shorter than his college roster posting and will likely have teams evaluating him as a combo guard rather than a pure wing. 

Fit with Wizards:

Wiggins' stock has steadily been rising over the past few months. He had no buzz as an undrafted prospect and wanting a first-round guarantee to prevent him from returning to college to now having legitimate second-round opportunities. 

Much of that has to do with the potential he brings as a wing scorer - a position the Wizards desperately need. 

Yet, without consistency, there are other wings who will be available in the free-agent market to provide what Wiggins does. Garrison Mathews (restricted free agent) and Chandler Hutchison both shot better numbers from deep last year for the Wizards than Wiggins did at Maryland. Wiggins' age doesn't help him much either as both of those players are only two and three years older than him. 

Hutchison - who is under contract for 2021-22 - also provides the defensive versatility that Wiggins would bring. That's not to mention Deni Avdija is set to return this season and Davis Bertans is under contract through 2025. It's tough to see the Maryland star providing more than what's already on the roster.  

Other teams could find a role for Wiggins in their system and there's the chance that he's able to find that consistency in the NBA like former Maryland shooter Kevin Huerter has done. But if he's not that, it could be the waste of acquiring a second-round pick to draft him.