Minnesota Timberwolves: Rosas relying on Andrew Wiggins

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 7: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves shoots a three-pointer. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 7: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves shoots a three-pointer. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Believe it or not, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ new president is acknowledging that Andrew Wiggins remains an important part of what they’ll try and do this season.

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Andrew Wiggins will be a big part of any success the Minnesota Timberwolves have in the upcoming season.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve heard those words for each of the past four of five years. And here’s the thing: it hasn’t been incorrect at any point, outside of the one year in which Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns propelled the team to the playoffs practically in spite of a poor year from Wiggins.

Now, in an offseason noteworthy for the lack of star power added despite president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas’ best efforts, the Wolves will once again enter the season with their fingers crossed that Wiggins has indeed improved his game over the summer and that he’ll stay motivated throughout the fall and winter.

There was a fleeting day or two around the start of free agency at the end of June and the first couple of days of July in which Wiggins appeared to be good as gone. The Wolves were chasing Brooklyn’s D’Angelo Russell, who was ultimately sent to Golden State in a sign-and-trade, and Wiggins was the logical player that was sure to be jettisoned. Wiggins even went so far to eliminate mentions of his employers on his social media accounts.

Alas, the move was never made and Wiggins remains in Minnesota. We’ll likely never know how close Rosas actually was to moving the former Rookie of the Year, or how interested he still may or may not be in trading him. But if Rosas does indeed want to ship Wiggins out, he’s saying all the right things to build his value and make him happy headed into training camp in September.

In a recent media availability, Rosas acknowledged that if the Wolves are going to be successful this season, Wiggins has to “be a main contributor” while also providing a bit of cover for Andrew, mentioning that he needs to have some continuity in coaching, strategy, and style of play.

ESPN put this quote out there on The Jump and provided a bit of commentary from Royce Young, their Oklahoma City Thunder reporter. The analysis that, fair or unfair, Wiggins will always be evaluated through the lens of his contract, is right-on. That’s simply the reality of the situation.

The caveats offered by Rosas aren’t necessarily wrong, either: Wiggins has played for four coaches in his five NBA seasons, and his worst stretches of play have largely come during the two-and-a-half he played under Tom Thibodeau, the longest-tenured coach that he’s had.

There’s also some hope that if Ryan Saunders can get through to Wiggins, he’ll perform more as a cutter and spot-up shooter and less as a mid-range chucker and isolation player.

Don't wig-out on Wiggins just yet. dark. Next

It will fascinating to see how much of this is Rosas simply trying to build trade value while simultaneously build Wiggins’ confidence versus what he really believes. Only a few more weeks until we start to get a glimpse of what might be to come…