User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
New T-Wolves receive warm welcome

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) - Andrew Wiggins spent the previous month seemingly in hiding, side-stepping questions about a trade that was all but finished and coming to the realization he was not going to be teammates with LeBron James.

Advertisement
On Tuesday - finally - Wiggins and the rest of the new Minnesota Timberwolves got to address the issue head on and have their moment in the sun.

The Timberwolves unveiled the bounty they got for All-Star Kevin Love at the Minnesota State Fair, and Wiggins wore an ear-to-ear smile for most of the day as hundreds of fans followed him around the fairgrounds. It was a warm welcome after the disappointment of being drafted No. 1 overall by Cleveland, only to be shipped out when the Cavaliers decided to acquire the veteran Love to help James chase down a championship.

''It's been a crazy summer, really up and down. Kind of lost, not really knowing where I'm going,'' Wiggins said. ''But I wanted to play for a team that wanted me. I felt the love as soon as I got off the plane at the airport, so it's all good now. I'm excited for this season.''

Wiggins made the remarks while sitting on a stage with Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young - the two other players that came to Minnesota in the three-team blockbuster - and Timberwolves first-round draft pick Zach LaVine.

Truth be told, Wiggins has known for weeks that he was never going to play for the Cavs - becoming just the second No. 1 overall pick since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976 to be traded without ever playing a game for the team that drafted him. But a seldom-used rule in the collective bargaining agreement prevented the deal from being consummated for 30 days.

''I've been hearing all the talks for a while now,'' said Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick in 2013. ''So me being here in Minnesota, it's a great (state). It's a great fan base, great team coming up where everybody's young. We have some vets, too. I'm just here to learn from everybody.''

Reports leaked out long before the deadline that the deal was agreed upon and Wiggins had to make a couple of awkward promotional appearances where he bobbed and weaved around questions about his uncertain future. When it was made official, Wiggins had to hear about moving from a team that expected to contend for a title with the NBA's best player on board to a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs in 10 years.

For a 19-year-old, that could be tough to swallow.

''For me it's not really hard to accept it,'' Wiggins said flatly. ''I'm the type of guy that I go to where I'm needed. I go to where I'm wanted, really. That's what I like.''

He handed out autographed photos at the fair and was followed from station to station by dozens of giddy fans. Wiggins and LaVine went down a giant slide, Bennett ate some deep fried alligator meat and Young reveled in the festive atmosphere.

''I've never been a part of something this big before,'' said Young, a seven-year veteran.

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor was ecstatic about the enthusiasm the deal has generated among a worn-down fan base. It contrasts sharply with the deal the team made back in 2007 to trade Kevin Garnett to Boston.

''I spoke the truth that if Kevin (Love) would stay here I think we would have the best season,'' Taylor said. ''But inside I knew I don't think Kevin was giving us that alternative, even though it's what I wanted. So now you have the thing where Kevin kind of said trade me or you're going to pay the (price) next year. We had four teams that came to us with significant offers. But this truly had the biggest upside.''

Earlier in the day, the players visited Target Center for the first time as Timberwolves. Wiggins walked around the locker room and slipped on a white No. 22 Wolves jersey with his name on the back. As he sat down in the chair in front of his locker, he let out a big sigh.

Finally, all the trade talk, all the uncertainty, all the posturing was over. He is a Timberwolf now. And instead of being a sidekick for James, he's one of the central figures in a team that appears to at least have a sense of direction for the first time in the last decade.

''It was a big relief,'' Wiggins said. ''Now it's solidified. I'm situated in a spot where I know I'm going to be at for a very, very long time. It's comforting.''

---

Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Akins: Hoop Trends - Saturday
SportsBoss: NBA SBPI Ratings - (12/10/14)
Pelicans call up Smith from Fort Wayne
MVP Durant sits with sprained ankle
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NBA Hot Streaks
8-2 L10, 11-3 L14, 25-7 L32 G-Plays
7-2 L9 G-Plays, +1,408 This Year
13-4 L17 Picks, 9-2 L11 Totals
3-0, +375 Last 2 Days
3-1 L4, 7-2 L9 Picks
4-2 L4 Days, 7-4 Last 11 Picks
2-0 Y'day, 17-6 L23 Guarantees
+1,118 Net Profits This Year
24-14 Last 38 Picks
7-3 Last 10 Guarantees
8-4 Last 12 NBA Selections
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2014 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1408
Mark Franco + 1295
Kevin Rogers + 1118
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
ASA + 452
Stephen Nover + 355
Tony Stoffo + 287
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 70 %
Mark Franco 63 %
Joe Nelson 62 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mark Franco + 1634
Bill Marzano + 1095
Vince Akins + 898
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 574
Bruce Marshall + 518
Don Anthony + 250
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 731
Bruce Marshall + 599
Michael Black + 490
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
2014 VI College Bowl Betting Guide