Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins won the 2014-15 KIA NBA Rookie of the Year Award on April 30.
Andrew Wiggins is the 2014-15 KIA NBA Rookie of the Year.
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The Timberwloves made the announcement via a press release on their official website on April 30:
"The NBA today announced Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins is the recipient of the Eddie Gottlieb trophy as the winner of the KIA NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He is the first Wolves player to win this award.
"Wiggins, 20, received 110 of 130 first-place votes and 504 total points from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The Chicago Bulls' Nikola Mirotic finished second with 335 points (14 first-place votes) and Nerlens Noel of the Philadelphia 76ers was third with 141 points (three first-place votes).
"Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote."
Wiggins told the Timberwolves' official website on Thursday he's honored to win the award:
"I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the media for this award. I'd like to thank our coaches and my teammates for all they have done to help me this season. I'm looking forward to taking my game to an even higher level next year and helping our team make a significant improvement."
Despite the Timberwolves finishing an NBA-worst 16-66 in 2014-15, Wiggins told The St. Paul Pioneer Press' Andy Greder he remains unfazed:
"It should bring a lot of hope for the future of the Minnesota Timberwolves. It should give people a different look at things.
"This is the uprising. We've got a lot of young talent. We accomplished a lot this year with a lot of young players. Moving forward, the future is bright."
According to Kent Youngblood of The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Wiggins was almost certain to be named rookie of the year after winning Western Conference Rookie of the Month four times and after Milwaukee Bucks rookie Jabari Parker suffered a season-ending injury in December.
Timberwolves president of basketball operations and head coach Flip Saunders and general manager Milt Newton accompanied Wiggins as he accepted his award during Thursday's press conference, per Youngblood.
Saunders told Greder the 20-year-old Wiggins responded in a big way as the Timberwolves' new leader:
"He was our leader, the face of the franchise," Saunders said. "We needed more from him. His teammates needed more. From that time on, we never had to worry about him."
For his part, Newton told Greder that Wiggins played his best against the NBA's top players:
"He's had his best games against the best player in this league. That gave us a foretaste of what he can do in this league and the type of effect that he will have on our basketball team."
The Cleveland Cavaliers selected Wiggins first overall in the 2014 NBA draft but dealt him to the Timberwolves last summer as part of a package for forward Kevin Love, per Dane Mizutani of the Timberwolves' official website.
Instead of playing alongside four-time NBA MVP LeBron James, Wiggins wound up being the potential franchise player of the Timberwolves, per Mizutani. Now he's off to a good start as he officially became the league's best rookie.
Wiggins averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 82 games this season for the Minnesota Timberwovles, per ESPN stats.
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