Andrew Wiggins is an amazing talent at only 23 years old. But will holding onto him allow the Timberwolves to continue their climb to the top?
The Minnesota Timberwolves version of a “big three” still stands as a viable core. However, they certainly aren’t a true championship contender as currently constructed.
And due to the constant evolution of the Western Conference, it might already be time to consider a change.
We’ll see how the reported drama between Jimmy Butler and his teammates plays out this season, but if this season doesn’t go beyond the first round of the playoffs again it will already be time to look into new options (for a Jimmy Butler trade idea, click here).
The odd man out in the above scenario? Definitely not Jimmy Butler.
Butler is the perfect solution to the years of experiments trying to find a superstar after the departure of Kevin Garnett over a decade ago. A player like Butler doesn’t come around to a franchise often, and especially when the franchise is Minnesota.
At age 28, he is in the prime of his career and has the perfect skillset to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns. He is also a great example for young players in the locker room and will continue to teach the rest of the roster how to be both a winner and a professional.
Towns, on the other hand, has too many tools in his toolbox to let him go.
A 7-footer who brought in 21.3 points per game and 12.3 rebounds last season, he has an all-around game that is simply hard to find. His versatility as an athletic big man with elite skills on both sides of the ball is too valuable.
The reported issues between him and Butler (if they are even true) can easily be ironed out by Tom Thibodeau. Both players know how to win and are mature enough to put winning before themselves.
The odd man out, sadly, is Andrew Wiggins. It’s something that isn’t ideal, but may be the ultimatum between staying a decent team and becoming a great one. In the Western Conference, decent teams don’t make the playoffs (see: Denver Nuggets).
Wiggins’ game is too similar to Butler and he has shown what kind of player he will be in his career. He doesn’t bring anything that Butler can’t do and showed regression last season after Butler’s arrival.
The Wolves don’t need two players that should both be playing shooting guard.
He is a good player, but hasn’t showed the leadership the Wolves need in one of their core players. He often looks like he is fine being a quality swingman and nothing more. His contract is paying almost $30 million for the next few years isn’t worth it.
As a trade piece, Wiggins brings a lot of upside to a lot of teams and would make them instantly better.
Despite his hefty contract, his skillset would jump start most teams in the East and could be an attractive piece for the Wolves to either gain some money back or get back another solid player. It won’t be the easiest sell, but intriguing enough if he is in front of a team lacking star power, given his age and resume.
Wiggins certainly can still help the Timberwolves, and at only 23, brings amazing potential and upside.
But we know what he can do for the team, and if this is his ceiling, the Wolves shouldn’t just call it a day. Unless he has an incredible resurgence, it would be a smart move to look into shopping Wiggins.
The Timberwolves need to be constantly hunting that next jump, and they just might need to move Wiggins in order to do it.