Aiming to be the first player from Nova Scotia to play in the NBA, Lindell Wigginton is one of the Canadians looking to see his name called in June's draft after a sophomore season that was productive despite a foot injury. While that ailment cost him about a third of his season, he was still able to score the ball with ease when healthy and that was enough for him to look towards the pros.
Showcased nicely in an aggressive offensive scheme at Iowa State, Wigginton proved his flammability as a scorer by regularly putting up massive point totals against Big 12 competition. Just as fast with the ball in his hands as without it, he's instant offence in a compact 6'2" frame and with most NBA teams leaving one or two spots on their bench for a scoring guard, Wigginton could find himself a spot.
Competitiveness is never lacking for Wigginton and the fire he brings to the court will be welcomed by whatever team he plays for. Constant energy allows him to play bigger than his height would suggest and the toughness he shows is going to be necessary if he's going to battle the elite guards of the NBA.
Wigginton is a scorer through and through and like many scorers that go through the draft, his number one priority in workouts is going to be proving that he can put up points at the highest level against longer, faster, and stronger NBA athletes. If he can convince a team that he'll continue to put the ball in the hoop at the next level, he could find himself getting selected but if teams have too many questions about his offence translating, he could find himself taking the G League route.
Wigginton is a catch-and-shoot sniper that can punish teams for giving him any amount of space. He hit 45% of his catch-and-shoot threes last season for the Cyclones, and if you're looking for an even crazier number he shot 48.8% on catch-and-shoot jumpers when closely guarded. His ability to space the floor and hit shots with a hand in his face is going to intrigue one of the growing number of teams that have a wing or big man as their primary offensive initiator who in turn want small guards that can be shooting threats off the ball.
When he's not shooting the ball from deep, Wigginton has quite a crafty set of moves finishing around the rim and he's got great athleticism for a player with a thin 6-foot-2 frame which allows him to make some pretty acrobatic layups. What makes Wigginton's attacking game off the dribble unique is the rate at which he can knock down floaters.
While those shots are usually the most inefficient looks in basketball, Wigginton hit them at a 55.6% rate last year, hitting easy teardrops over shot blockers if he ever got stopped before getting all the way to the tin.
Transition is another area where Wigginton thrives and he is incredibly savvy at attacking the feet of backtracking defenders to leave them scrambling from side to side and limiting their ability to stop penetration. Looking for early offence can create confused defences with unwanted switches, and if Wigginton can get bigger players on him he has the talent to blow by to get to the hoop.
Smaller guards are often stereotyped as bad defenders but Wigginton is pretty good on that end, particularly when guarding a ballhandler. He's got good hip flexibility and can move laterally quite well to stop penetration and he has the desire to stop his man from scoring that not every player possesses. Being a smaller player, he is susceptible to getting hunted on switches but in situations where he needs to chase fast guards he does quite well for himself.
Wigginton is the size of an NBA point guard but he doesn't possess any true point guard abilities meaning finding a natural role for him is going to be difficult.
He's not a great distributor and he struggled to make plays out of pick-and-roll situations at Iowa State even though they gave him plenty of those possessions. His attacking game draws lots of help from secondary defenders and he's sometimes able to make a drop-off pass to a big or a kick out to a shooter but he's definitely not someone widely considered to be a plus passer.
While his shooting off the catch is extremely impressive, he really struggled to shoot off the dribble which can be a red flag for guards. Wigginton was 20.9% on dribble jump shots this season, a particularly concerning number for a player who is going to need to score if he's going to be an NBA regular. His reputation as a shooter had teams playing him tightly which allowed him to get good dribble penetration, but at the NBA level teams are going to dare him to shoot off the dribble while giving him a cushion that's going to make driving difficult.
Most small guards that have success in the NBA do so because they are a threat to score in the midrange but that's a place Wigginton struggles, largely due to the fact he isn't good on pull up attempts. By only shooting 21% from the midrange, he isn't a threat one he takes a bounce or two which will make things tough for him once he puts the ball on the deck.
Wigginton is a scoring guard but one that needs others to initiate plays for him to be effective. That could be a tough sell for NBA teams.
Recent history has shown guards need to be able to shoot off the bounce, and the fact Wigginton doesn't do that well is going to be extremely damaging to his stock. If a team thinks they can turn Wigginton into a shooter off the dribble or a point guard they might see him with plenty of upside, but there are going to be some teams that simply don't like what he brings to the table.
Projected NBA Draft Range: 45 to undrafted
Projected NBA Role: Scoring guard off the bench.
NBA Comparison: DJ Augustin