Andrew Wiggins’ Future

The 2018-2019 season will be the first season where Andrew Wiggins’ max contract goes into effect. He will be due $25,250,000 and will be the highest paid player on the roster. Wiggins has shown tremendous flashes in all four years he has been in the NBA but his consistency is what lacks. Defensively he improved, but it was his worst year for offensive efficiency since his rookie season. In order to be worthy of a max contract, you must meet a number of requirements. Wiggins only matches the requirements of high potential and incredible athleticism. Wiggins, as of now, is not even close to being worthy of the max contract. Let’s take a look at what the Wolves have for option in regard to his future.

Wiggins stays

The most likely scenario would be to have Andrew Wiggins stay on the team. The upside to this option is that Wiggins still has a nice chance to turn into an incredible two way player much like his counterpart Jimmy Butler. The downside would be that he stays the same player he is today. If he doesn’t improve his 3 point shooting, free throw percentage, and handle on the ball, he will never be worth his max contract. This will restrain Wiggins and the Wolves from reaching their greatest levels of production.

Wiggins is traded

While unlikely, their is the chance that a desperate franchise looks to make the move for what could be a potential superstar. We saw during the middle of this regular season, a team with a desperate coach and front office made a trade for a really good player with a max contract. The Detroit Pistons gave up a lot of quality assets to get their hands on what they deem as a superstar in Black Griffin. If the Timberwolves find a team that views Wiggins in this light, we really well could bring in quality pieces to add depth to a team that is in desperate need of it.

What would some possible deals look like?

In order to make a deal possible, we have to be able to match salaries or find a team with plenty of cap space. It’s also extremely unlikely to make a one for one player swap with Wiggins involved due to his contract.

Another aspect that will narrow down the teams is whether or not they are content with their roster construction. This relates to teams like the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, and the Houston Rockets.

A team that will be interested in Wiggins will be a team either with no superstars or if they are looking to pair one of their best players with a player like Wiggins.

Teams that fit the criteria:

Sacramento Kings

Brooklyn Nets

New York Knicks

Charlotte Hornets

 

All trades are confirmed by ESPN trade machine

A Trade with the Sacramento Kings

Andrew Wiggins (29m / 5 years)

FOR

Garret Temple (8m / 1 year)

Kousta Koufos (8.3m / 1 year)

2018 First Round Pick (Top 10)

 

Andrew Wiggins average salary over his 5 year deal is about 29 million dollars a year. The Sacramento Kings also have a lot of cap space as they do not have to pay any superstar talent at the moment. This deal would give them their potential superstar to pair with players like De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield.

The Wolves on the other hand would get two expiring contracts so their cap space would open up significantly the following summer. Also, the blue chip in this deal would be the King’s 2018 first round pick. Right now it’s at 7 overall but that is pre-lottery. Ultimately it will end up in the top 10 and potentially top 3 which would be a major win the Timberwolves.

This deal could very well work out for both parties involved and will be interesting to see if there are any developments between the two franchises as we get closer to the NBA draft.

A Trade with the Brooklyn Nets

Andrew Wiggins (29m / 5 years)

FOR

DeMarre Carroll (14.8m / 1 year)

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (1.4m / 1 year)

2019 First Round Pick

 

With the Nets not having a first round pick in what feels like forever, they could be very unwilling to part ways with it. But say they are willing, this is what a potential deal could look like.

The Wolves get two wing players on expiring contracts which does two things. The first being, gives the Timberwolves adequate depth along the wings. The second, it frees up cap space when we need to extend Karl-Anthony Towns and Jimmy Butler to long term deals. Both will be worthy of max contracts.

A Trade with the New York Knicks

Andrew Wiggins (29m / 5 years)

FOR

Frank Ntilikina (3.5m / 4 years)

Joakim Noah (17m / 2 years)

2018 First Round Pick (Top 10)

 

This could be the most realistic deal based solely off the fact that Tom Thibodeau will be the one involved with the negotiations. He would get a tremendous defensive point guard with Ntilikina and would reunite with a former Bull with Joakim Noah. The contracts would get close enough to where the Knicks could take care of the rest of Wiggins deal.

The two assets that actually hold value in this deal for the Wolves are obviously Ntilikina and the first round pick. Pre lottery the pick is at number 9 which could be used to draft a wing like Mikal Bridges or Miles Bridges. Both who would slot in nicely to provide wing depth with Wiggins now off the team.

A Trade with the Charlotte Hornets AND Orlando Magic

Minnesota Gets:

Orlando’s 2018 First Round Pick (Top 5)

Terrence Ross (10.5m / 1 year)

Charlotte Hornets First Round Pick (Lottery)

Jeremy Lamb (7m 1 year)

Charlotte Gets:

Andrew Wiggins (29m / 5 years)

Orlando Gets:

Kemba Walker (12m / 1 year)

 

This deal works for all sides. Charlotte gets to trade away Kemba Walker in return for a player who has all-star capabilities. Orlando gets a point guard that can serve as a face of the franchise for now. Minnesota meanwhile stockpiles two first round picks while adding shooters on expiring contracts. In reality Minnesota might have to give their first round pick to Orlando based on where their 2018 first round pick goes in the lottery process.

 

 

The issue of Wiggins and his contract is by far the most critical of all because of it’s potential to bring in more squad quality and freeing up cap space to sign other pieces during the summer. If Thibodeau decides to keep Wiggins, his improvement will be crucial to the direction the Wolves take for the future. If he lays an egg next year, his value will plummet to the point where he will be untradeable unless we give up an additional asset. Let’s hope Thibodeau and the front office get the decision right.

 

photo credit yardbarker.com

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