The NBA today named Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins as its Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month for January. This is the third consecutive month Wiggins has earned the honor, the only player in franchise history to win the award multiple times. He’s the first rookie to win the award in three straight months since Damian Lillard during the 2012-13 season.
Wiggins led all qualified rookies in scoring (19.8 ppg), field goal percentage (47.1%) and minutes played (38.4 mpg) while raking 2nd in FT percentage (79.0%), 4th in rebounding (4.6 rpg), 4th in steals (1.41 spg) and 5th in blocks (0.59 bpg). Wiggins tallied 20+ points nine times in 17 starts during the month, finishing as Minnesota’s top scorer on eight occasions.
Wiggins opened the month with five consecutive 20+ point efforts, running his overall streak to six, the longest such streak by a Wolves rookie in club history. He scored a team-high 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds in Minnesota’s New Year’s Day loss to Sacramento, adding a season-high four steals. Two weeks later, he poured in a then-season-high 31 points against Denver, the highest point total by a Wolves rookie since Stephon Marbury had 33 in 1996-97. He finished the month by erupting for a season-high 33 points against Cleveland, matching Kevin Garnett and Marbury for the most points by a Wolves teenager in a game and finishing just two points shy of the franchise rookie record (Laettner, 35).
Originally selected by the Cleveland with the 1st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Wiggins was acquired by the Wolves on Aug. 23, 2014 in a three-team trade. This season he leads all qualified rookies in scoring (15.5 ppg) and minutes (33.9 mpg), while ranking 3rd in steals (1.15 spg), 5th in blocks (0.55 bpg) and rebounding (4.2 rpg) and 7th in assists (1.8 apg).