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Top pick Wiggins' dad enjoys 'closure'

Published June 28, 2014 6:35 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As his talented son, Andrew, was presented with his new wine-and-gold Cavaliers jersey, Mitchell Wiggins finally let go of some painful memories.

This is it, he thought, his second chance, another shot at an NBA career broken in a haze of cocaine abuse. His son is the No. 1 overall pick, and Mitchell Wiggins is now unburdened by guilt, embarrassment and disappointment. He's whole again.

"It just gives me closure," said Mitchell Wiggins, who was suspended for two seasons with Houston in the 1980s for drugs. "I'm able to let go of maybe some of the things I was feeling when I left the league and I can sleep better now. This is a big moment."

The Cavaliers introduced Andrew Wiggins on Friday, one day after the team ended weeks of public debate and internal discussion by selecting the slender small forward from Kansas first in the NBA draft. Wiggins, who probably would have also been chosen before anyone else a year ago, began his news conference by saying his personal expectations are as high as what the Cavaliers believe he can attain.

The 19-year-old with the 44-inch vertical jump plans to soar.

"I just want to come in, create an impact right off the bat, offensively and defensively, bring the team to the next level and just be a good teammate, be a good part of the organization," he said. "I want to be on the All-Defensive team, be Rookie of the Year, make the All-Star team, all that type of stuff."

Around the league

Grizzlies • Forward Zach Randolph has agreed to a contract extension with Memphis, his agent said Friday. Raymond Brothers confirmed that Randolph is exercising his $16.5 million option for the 2014-15 season and has agreed on a two-year extension worth $20 million. Randolph averaged 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds this season to lead the Grizzlies in both categories, though he was suspended for the final game of the Oklahoma City playoff series after punching Thunder center Steven Adams in the jaw.

Wizards • Forward Martell Webster is recovering from back surgery and could miss the start of next season. Webster had surgery in Los Angeles on Thursday to repair a herniated disc in his lower back.

Draft • The NBA draft on Thursday night delivered its highest rating on ESPN, surpassing the mark set 11 years ago when LeBron James was the No. 1 pick.