Minnesota Timberwolves: Don’t wig-out on Wiggins just yet…

DENVER, CO - APRIL 10: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - APRIL 10: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Andrew Wiggins
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – MARCH 29: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The contract vs. the metrics

Last season, Wiggins signed a max-extension that pays out a total of $147 million dollars at an average of $29 million per season. Fans immediately couple that with a very low player efficiency rating (PER). When fans evaluate a 12.42 PER for the 2018-2019 season (No. 217 in the league overall and No. 39 among small forwards) in light of $29 million dollars per season, frustration begins to boil.

Is this a fair evaluation of Wiggins? Quite simply—no!

I don’t know a single fan who wouldn’t have signed that contract if put in a similar position. Yes, the contract weighs heavy on the team. The former front office presented Wiggins with this contract. He signed it. Now, Wiggins had to sign that deal knowing the expectation that comes with it. However, the contract is not Wiggins fault. But what about the metrics?

Metrics are a form of analysis. One of the more popular metrics that drives fan frustration with Wiggins is PER, developed by John Hollinger, formerly of ESPN and currently of the Memphis Grizzlies.

This analysis considers weighted value to a variety of actual statistics that when calculated together provide the player’s efficiency rating. Keep in mind though that player efficiency rating is, at best, analysis, and at worst is John Hollinger’s opinion about a player. It’s also a far-from-perfect metric.

Weighted metrics, like Hollinger’s PER, are at least somewhat rooted in opinion. John Hollinger determined what is important by providing a weighted determination for a particular stat.

For example, a made 2-point basket is only valued at 1.65 points. A missed basket, which provides zero real points, subtracts 0.72 points according to Hollinger’s formula. Also according to Hollinger’s formula, Bill Russell is the 117th best basketball player in NBA history while Anthony Davis currently ranks third overall in history.

Metrics are opinions. Stats are facts.

According to last seasons stats, Andrew Wiggins’ 2018-2019 average of 18.1 points per game was good for second on the team behind Towns. His shooting average of 41 percent from the field puts him in roughly the same conversation as James Harden (42 percent), Paul George (43 percent), Donovan Mitchell (43 percent), D’angelo Russell (43 percent) and Trae Young (41 percent).

These are real-time stats. Facts—not opinions. However, fans and front office agree that more is needed from Wiggins.

Dane Moore of Zone Coverage recently reported on Rosas’ expectations of Wiggins for the upcoming season. Here’s what Rosas has to say:

The 2019-20 NBA season is on the horizon. Timberwolves fans, like every other team’s fanbase, are hopeful for more.

Next. 3 stars the Wolves could acquire to help Towns. dark

Is it time to bail on Andrew? I don’t think so. Like many Timberwolves fans, I’d love to see more—but now isn’t the time to wig out. Instead, 2019-2020 is time for Wiggins!