The Timberwolves have shown interest in Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving and reportedly made a trade offer to land the star player, but reportedly did not offer Andrew Wiggins.
If the Timberwolves truly made an offer for Kyrie Irving that did not include Andrew Wiggins, that was (and remains) a good decision.
There have been many mixed reactions by fans on social media. Some love Wiggins, but feel it is worth it to give him up for Irving. Some do not want to part with him at all. Some think Wiggins has been a disappointment.
Irving is a great player, but to get him the Wolves would have to offer Wiggins and more. In my opinion, Wiggins for Irving straight up is not something they should do, either.
Wiggins is only 22 years old and still has a high ceiling. He is currently a poor defender, but so is Irving. Wiggins’ offense is already very good and should get even better. His defense should get better, too, but by how much is the question.
The Wolves cannot trade newly-signed point guard Jeff Teague until December. Teague, of course, is not at Irving’s level, but having both him and Wiggins is better than just Irving. Teague would likely be moved in December if they were to acquire Irving, and almost surely along with Wiggins. iPlus, It would be very difficult to make it work with both Teague and Irving. Sure, Kyrie can play a little shooting guard, but that is not his natural position.
Wiggins has been offered the max contract according to KSTP’s Darren Wolfson.
Irving on the other hand, is non-committed to any team he plays for, and is set to become a free agent in two years.
Another year under Tom Thibodeau and having Jimmy Butler as a teammate should help Wiggins’ defense. Butler could help him as a mentor and would also guard opposing teams’ best wing players, which will help take pressure off of him. He has the tools to be a good defender, but needs to figure out a way to improve in that department.
"Possession by possession, there are a few defenders who are as bad as Wiggins. When Wiggins contests a shot, opponents have a 56.1 effective field goal percentage; when they are unguarded, they have a 56.4 eFG percentage. Fundamentally, getting a shot up against Andrew Wiggins is the same as getting an open shot."
He was also ranked 79th out of 81 small forwards in defensive rating. Will he ever become a good defender? Maybe. Maybe not. He has nowhere to go but up though and should get better with experience and more support around him.
Wiggins averaged a career high 23.6 points per game and shot a career high 35.6 percent from three-point range last season. He has also missed only one game in his three-year career.
Defense and three-point shooting were among the Wolves’ biggest weaknesses last year. Both will improve this season with the new additions and the more Wiggins improves in both areas, the more it will help the team.
Wiggins certainly could have done some things better in his first three seasons (passing and rebounding, too), but he also could have done some things worse too. He is only 22 and has a high ceiling. It is far too early to give up on him. Will he ever be worth the max contract he is being offered? Right now, no, but could very well be in the future. Also, in today’s market, pretty much every player is getting more money than they are worth.
The Timberwolves remain intent on keeping Wiggins and that is the right decision.