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
Golf
Auto
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
Mayor: Plenty of potential Hawks buyers
Arrest made in theft from Pacers star
'NBA 2K15' drafts 3-D face mapping
Rockets acquire Jason Terry from Kings
Timberwolves sign Glenn Robinson III
Nuggets' Hickson suspended 5 games
Kings to retire Peja Stojakovic's jersey
LeBron banner could rise in Cleveland
Atlanta mayor: Talked to Hawks owners
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NBA Pro Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2013 NBA SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 3067
Paul Bovi + 2374
Kevin Rogers + 2090
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Dave Cokin 59 %
Paul Bovi 58 %
Stephen Nover 56 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 2013
Michael Black + 1848
Kevin Rogers + 1579
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1320
Kyle Hunter + 1080
Joe Nelson + 993
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2114
Mike Rose + 1851
Kyle Hunter + 945
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!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest