If he was eligible for this year’s NBA Draft, he would be the No. 1 pick, and it wouldn’t even be a debate.

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(USA TODAY Sports)

(USA TODAY Sports)

Today’s Big Winner: Andrew Wiggins

Today at noon-ish, Andrew Wiggins — the best prep basketball player since LeBron James — will announce his college choice.

The thing is: He shouldn’t be going to college at all.

If he was eligible for this year’s NBA Draft, he would be the No. 1 pick, and it wouldn’t even be a debate.

And yet, because of the NBA’s age limit, he has to spend a purgatory year in college, even though his stock can’t go up (and won’t go down) and all he risks is injury.

Or does he really have to follow that path?

In the middle of analysis of all the reasons he should pick one school over the others, the surest bet Wiggins could make today is this:

Announce his intention to play in the NBA’s D-League next season until he is draft-eligible a year from now, then immediately tweet out a photo of a huge novelty check from his shoe company of choice for $20 million.

Why spend a half-year with a half-dozen other stars at Kentucky or in the shadow of dozens of legends who played at UNC or Kansas or even on his own pedestal at middle-rung Florida State, when Wiggins could be a real sports pioneer and refuse to accept the entire premise of college basketball for elite players en route to the NBA?

The reality is that Wiggins doesn’t need college hoops, any more than LeBron did — certainly not if Wiggins’ goal is to maximize his NBA draft value, which is the ostensible goal of every top-end college player.

Instead, Wiggins can (1) achieve lifetime financial security right now; (2) get coaching from people whose incentive is to prepare players for the NBA, not who prioritize a bracket or their boosters; and (3) illuminate a new path for top preps.

If Wiggins really wants to leave his mark on college basketball, he should avoid college basketball altogether.

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