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Thursday, August 7, 2014
Company hedged its Wiggins bets

By Darren Rovell
ESPN.com

The nation's largest online licensed sports retailer saved itself from being caught with a glut of Andrew Wiggins Cavaliers replica jerseys and fans from the hassle of returning them.

Andrew Wiggins
Now you see 'em, now you don't: Top pick Andrew Wiggins wore his Cavs duds in summer-league play.

A spokesman for Fanatics, which also services the NBA's online store, said Thursday that the company -- which specializes in on-demand customization -- actually never made the No. 21 Wiggins Cavs jerseys that fans ordered from the sites.

Spokesman Meier Raivich said the site had up until a month after Wiggins signed (until Aug. 23) to deliver the jerseys, but as reports swirled that Wiggins could be traded in a deal for the Timberwolves' Kevin Love, as was confirmed Thursday, the company decided to be cautious and not print the replicas.

Last week, the Fanatics and NBA store sites showed that the Wiggins jersey was "discontinued," meaning those who wanted to buy one had to custom order it. Raivich said those jerseys were made and shipped, as were any authentic jerseys that were purchased.

But the majority of people buy the more affordable replica jerseys. Some might be disappointed that they won't have a collector's item, but they likely won't be disappointed that they'll get a full refund and won't have to pay for shipping.

The standard return policy is normally 60 days and the item has to be in pristine condition with the tags still attached. However, customers who actually received Wiggins jerseys will be able to return them in worn condition without the tags.