Cleveland Cavaliers emphasize character, fit in Andrew Wiggins press conference

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It was incredibly clear how happy the Cleveland Cavaliers are to have Andrew Wiggins in the fold.

There were times when Cavaliers general manager David Griffin was smiling so brightly you thought he might burst. There was a moment where head coach David Blatt was so happy with one of Andrew Wiggins' answers that he jumped in with effusive praise.

After Wiggins fielded and answered a question about the strengths he brings to the Cavaliers, Griffin couldn't help but say to Blatt, "How's that sound, coach?"

Yes, the Cavaliers were all smiles today introducing Andrew Wiggins, and it's clear the affection extends well beyond the extraordinary talent he often displays on basketball courts far and wide.

"The first thing to find is pieces that fit culturally," Griffin said. In outlining what a basketball player needs to succeed, Blatt indicated that "character" was the first trait necessary.

Griffin said that the Cavaliers "settled pretty early" on Wiggins, and it was hard not to believe him. The excitement and body language made his case for him.

And Wiggins himself? He said all the right things. When asked about his expectations, he of course said he wanted to be an All-Star and win Rookie of the Year. He also said he wanted to be on the NBA's All-Defensive team.

Yeah, the first overall pick of the NBA draft said he wants to be on the All-Defensive team. "I try and set goals for myself every game," talking about how he approaches his defensive assignments. "I try and lock 'em up. If I'm on the bench and [my guy] scores, I get mad."

That's the type of mindset that's been lacking in Cleveland for a few years, a mindset former head coach Mike Brown valiantly tried - but failed - to change.


Wiggins talked about his family, and how his mental toughness came from his mother, and how his dad always told him about the importance of defense. His parents sat in the front row with several of his siblings. The athletic pedigree might be well known in the case of his parents, but it's clear he received more than breathtaking jumping and running ability.

Now Cleveland seems to poised to benefit for years to come. Wiggins is not without flaws of course. He turned 19 years old in February. As the Cavaliers try and improve their collective basketball IQ, Wiggins will come with many of the signs of youth fans have grown accustomed to over the last few years.

Wiggins knows it won't be easy.

"I was just talking to Anthony Bennett. He told me to be ready to work, the journey starts now," Wiggins said.

"We didn't bring him here for one year," Blatt said, talking about the importance of continuity.

A front office and coaching staff that values continuity and fit, and a highly regarded prospect eager to help change the defensive culture of this team. What a breath of fresh air.

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