The future of Andrew Wiggins in Minnesota has been a talking point ever since Kyrie Irving requested a trade away from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Having traded Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the rights to Lauri Markkanen for Jimmy Butler and the rights to Justin Patton, the Timberwolves have made a shift to win-now mode.
Adding Irving would fit well with their new mentality, but it was widely accepted that Wiggins would have to be used in a potential trade package for the Olympic gold medalist.
However, according to The Star Tribune, owner Glen Taylor has made it clear he plans to re-sign the former number one pick to a five-year, $150 million contract, signalling an end to their interest in Irving.
The Cavaliers guard mentioned the Timberwolves as one of four teams he’d like to be traded to when he spoke the team’s front office, alongside the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks.
Irving’s future is no closer to being decided, but it seems Minnesota have put their eggs firmly in Wiggins’ basket.
Wiggins posted a career-high 23.6 points per game on 45.2% from the field during Tom Thibodeau’s first season as head coach, and it is clear to see he is an incredible offensive talent. But there are evident limitations in his game.
Despite being one of the best, young scorers in the NBA, his ability to influence the game in other ways is limited. His court vision is below average and statistically, he is one of the worst defenders in the league.
Of course, having just completed his third season, there is still plenty of time for improvement. Under one of the best defensive minds in the coaching world, you would expect that aspect of his game to reach a higher level.
Outlining his plans at this time, Taylor has given his full support to Wiggins to lead the franchise alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and Butler.
‘Maple Jordan’, as he is effectively known in Canada, will come into the season knowing he has the full backing of his franchise.
Having missed the playoffs last season, anything less than a top eight finish in the Western Conference would be considered a huge failure for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004.