- The Washington Times
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Heading into the G League Elite Camp, Aaron Wiggins had a clear goal in mind.

The University of Maryland basketball guard hoped he’d receive an invitation to the NBA Draft Combine if he played well enough.

On Monday night, after impressing in two scrimmages, Wiggins’ stay in Chicago was extended. His agent, Mike Whitaker, told The Washington Times that Wiggins received that invitation, a key step in the fact-finding mission Wiggins finds himself on.

The 6-foot-6 rising senior hasn’t yet decided whether he will return to Maryland for his senior season or depart for the NBA draft. He has until July 7 to withdraw his name from the draft, and despite hiring an agent, NCAA policy changes in 2018 allowed players to sign an agent while maintaining eligibility.

For Wiggins, his performances at the NBA Draft Combine could go a long way in deciding his next move. He’s currently on the outside looking in on many mock drafts, but a strong performance could elevate his draft stock.

“Ideally, I want to be a first-rounder,” Wiggins said last week after a pre-draft workout with the Golden State Warriors. “I want to hear promises, guarantees of me getting drafted. It all depends on how I feel and what I’m hearing and the conversation that I have with my parents after the entire process is over. I’ll make that decision when that time comes.”

In two scrimmages at the G League Elite Camp, Wiggins showed the dynamic play that took over games down the stretch last season with the Terrapins. Wiggins averaged 14.5 points last year, knocking down 44.6% of his shots. He erupted for 27 points in Maryland’s season-ending loss to Alabama in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Wiggins shot well at the G League Elite Camp, hitting 10 of his 17 baskets, including half of his three-point attempts. He scored a team-high 15 points in his first game and 11 points in the second contest, coming off the bench in the latter match-up. He added three assists, four rebounds and two turnovers across the pair of games.

That will get him a look from more scouts at the NBA Draft Combine, and more feedback — the latter of which could help shape his decision.

“I’m enjoying the process. I’m loving it,” Wiggins said. “Being able to meet new guys, compete against them in the workouts and just build new relationships, it’s been really fun for me. I’m just learning how much I love the game even more and my passion is showing a little bit more.”

Wiggins has already held workouts with four teams: the Warriors, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers. But Whitaker, his agent, figured a good showing in Chicago could lead to more notice ahead of his client’s July 7 decision date, finishing with anywhere from seven to 10 workouts.

Those opportunities, plus his draft combine feedback, should give Wiggins‘ steadier footing before deciding on his future.

“I told Aaron, this is a fun opportunity for you, you shouldn’t put any pressure on yourself,” Whitaker said ahead of the G League Elite Camp. “At July 7, if you and your family don’t feel comfortable or secure with the feedback, hey, you know, you can take your name out the draft and focus on having a great senior season, and a great team season. And next year if you go through this process, you’ll be even more prepared, because you’ve already experienced the process.”

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