Cavs Report: Griffin thinks Wiggins can shine on O, too
Jun 27, 2014 at 5:09p ET
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins says he wants to make the All-Defensive team, and he undoubtedly has that potential.
It's a reason why the Cleveland Cavaliers selected him.
But the Cavs believe the swingman from Kansas can get offensive, too. And they believe he can do it in Year One.
General manager David Griffin is confident about this because he's sort of seen it before.
"We had an occasion to work with Shawn Marion in Phoenix who was a two-way player," Griffin said of his time in the Suns' front office. "He was primarily defense over offense initially as well.
"But his athleticism in an open-court game played to the strengths of his offense. Shawn averaged 20 and 10 something like three years in a row, without having plays run for him."
Marion has put together a really nice and long career -- and was a regular All-Star during his Phoenix days. He garnered the nickname "The Matrix" for his uncanny leaping ability, how he could almost put on air brakes while in mid-air.
"I can shoot it," Wiggins said of his own game. "I can take someone off the dribble. Transition, running the floor. That's my skill set."
Wiggins has that type of spectacular athleticism, and as new Cavs coach David Blatt indicated, "One of Andrew's greatest qualities is he can play both ends of the court."
And as good as Marion was, everyone expects Wiggins can and will be even better than Marion -- at least, once the 19-year old Wiggins gets acclimated with the NBA style of play.
"I'm not saying (Wiggins) is like Shawn Marion, but that kind of athleticism and non-descript offensive game has been really productive on a lot of levels in this league," Griffin said.
"There are many other examples of guys who were not primarily offensive players who put up really good numbers because of the system they are in."
And the Cavs expect the high-flying Wiggins to be that type of player right from the jump.
Special MJ moment
Wiggins was introduced to local media and fans at the Cavs' practice facility Friday, his family sitting in the front row.
Among that crowd was his father, Mitchell, who spent six years in the NBA, mostly with the Houston Rockets.
Mitchell Wiggins said he realized Andrew was something special when Andrew was at a basketball camp run by Michael Jordan.
Jordan, knowing Mitchell from their NBA days, had a question.
"That your boy?" Jordan asked during a game involving Andrew at the camp.
Mitchell Wiggins nodded.
"He's pretty good," said Jordan, widely considered the greatest player of all time.
"That's when I knew," Mitchell Wiggins said.
Now that the draft has concluded, Griffin and his staff are putting together a summer-league roster and will delve deep into free agency when the negotiating period opens July 1.
"It's sort of gotten to the point now where nothing ever stops," Griffin said. "It just bleeds into each other. That's good."
While Griffin can't talk names, he did indicate the Cavs have the salary-cap space to sign a major money-making player.
"We can have just a hair over the super max (contract) without doing anything other than just waving our hand and making it happen," he said. "It's the biggest maximum contract you can have."
-- Second-round pick Joe Harris, a 6-6 shooting guard out of Virginia, could not make it to town in time for Friday's press conference. Harris is actually from Washington state and logistically could not make it on time. Harris is a three-point specialist and said Friday he is fairly decent defender, too.
-- The Cavs have not yet announced their summer-league roster, but it is believed former Gonzaga guard Steve Gray will be among those on the team. The Cavs begin summer play July 11 in Las Vegas.
-- Other expected members of the team: Wiggins, Harris, and second-year players Anthony Bennett, Sergey Karasev, Carrick Felix and Matthew Dellavedova. Along with those players and Gray, the Cavs are likely to add four-to-six more.
-- Former Ohio State guard Aaron Craft will play for the Philadelphia 76ers' in the Orlando Summer League (July 5-11), followed by the Golden State Warriors in the Las Vegas Summer League (July 12-17). Craft, who went undrafted, tweeted the news on Friday.
-- Former University of Cincinnati guard Sean Kilpatrick, who also went undrafted, will play for the Sixers summer team in Orlando (July 5-11).