Andrew Wiggins all star all-star

How Canadian NBA players Andrew Wiggins & Chris Duarte are doing in 2022

PLUS We have to talk about the Sacramento Kings.

Wiggins’ meaningful moment

Andrew Wiggins, all-star (How Canadian NBA players Andrew Wiggins & Chris Duarte are doing in 2022)

Let it sink in: Andrew Wiggins is an NBA All-Star. The Toronto-born forward shocked the basketball world last month when he was announced as a Western Conference starter. Many were quick to compare stats, with Wiggins’ numbers marginally lower than “inconsistent” point guard Russell Westbrook.

Like it or not, Wiggins has earned his spot. If we are being perfectly honest, he would have been next up as a replacement player for last year’s game, had another athlete gotten sick or injured. Yes, perhaps a starting role is a bit of a reach but Wiggins has played an important part in helping the Warriors regain their swagger, following both the departure of Kevin Durant and two years of injuries for Klay Thompson. 

As a #1 overall draft pick (and only the second Canadian to achieve this feat), it was without question that Andrew Wiggins would soon have his moment to shine. After a wasteful tenure in Minnesota and an adjustment period in the Golden State, that time has finally come.

We need to talk about the Kings

The Sacramento Kings

It has been 15 years since the Sacramento Kings made the playoffs. The team, which was led by the player formerly known as Ron Artest, managed to snag the 8th seed in the Western Conference, where they were promptly taken out in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs.

If the Kings, who are currently ranked 13th in the West, miss the playoffs this year, the team will beat out the Los Angeles Clippers for the longest playoff drought in NBA history.

With only 18 wins, their postseason hopes are dismal, yet not insurmountable. The team has a tremendous talent pool who are ultimately incapable of winning games. Both Harrison Barnes and Tristain Thompson have both won NBA championships, yet are far-removed from any true position of leadership. 

This could be the team to explore a veteran shooter of All-Star capacity. Names like Ben Simmons and Russell Westbrook have been tossed around in trade talks. The latter would surely provide some guidance for the incomplete team, also providing them with a much-needed offensive aggression.

Duarte does it all

Chris Duarte, foundation for a rebuild (How Canadian NBA players Andrew Wiggins & Chris Duarte are doing in 2022)

Selected as the 13th pick in the 2021 NBA draft, Montreal-born Chris Duarte has been an absolute steal for the Indiana Pacers. With a 13.2 points per game average, Duarte has locked in a spot on the 2022 Rising Stars roster among other young talents.

It has been reported that the Pacers are looking to make some major roster adjustments, with both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis rumored to be traded. These moves would commence a rebuilding phase for the young Indiana team. 

It goes without question that Duarte will be one of the players that the team will look to build around. At 24 years old, the shooting guard offers more experience than the average rookie. His two successful years at Oregon earned him the 2021 Jerry West Award. LeBron James has called Duarte a talent “beyond his years.” With all the praise and a good head on his shoulders, it seems near-impossible for him not to make this year’s All-Rookie Team and be a crucial key to the Pacers’ future. ■

This article originally appeared in the February 2022 issue of Cult MTL. 

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