Would former Timberwolves star be a viable trade candidate?

Toronto Raptors v Golden State Warriors
Toronto Raptors v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

The Minnesota Timberwolves are coming off a bounce-back win against the Portland Trail Blazers. After losing to the Eastern Conference's best squad on Wednesday, the Boston Celtics, the Timberwolves defeated the Blazers 116-93.

The Wolves started hot and never looked back. Portland trailed by 21 points after the first quarter. Minnesota big men, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert lit up the scoreboard. Each big notched 20 points before the final period.

Guards Anthony Edwards and Mike Conley made a living dishing to the Wolves' big men. Edwards finished with six assists on the night, while Conley finished with 10. Defeating the reeling Blazers was a well-rounded effort. Sure, the Timberwolves' centers did their part and more, but every player who hit the hardwood scored for Minnesota.

The roster is deep, but not without fault. The need for a backup point guard is evident, but could a former Minnesota star bolster the roster?

Enter Andrew Wiggins, the first overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. Although drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wiggins began his career in Minnesota. He played five and a half seasons in Minneapolis before getting shipped out to the Bay Area.

As a Timberwolf, Wiggins averaged 19.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. After his departure, he made his first All-Star appearance as a member of the Warriors in 2022.

That same season, Wiggins and the Warriors brought home an NBA Championship to the Bay Area. However, a swift downfall has been in full effect, for both Wiggins and the Warriors.Golden State is currently sitting outside the playoffs looking in. The Warriors possess a losing record, at 17-20, behind the rebuilding Utah Jazz.

Coincidentally, Wiggins has since moved the bench. Head coach Steve Kerr opted for the younger Jonathan Kuminga to start the forward spot. Wiggins' demotion was largely due to having the worst season of his career.

This season, the Kansas product has averaged only 11.7 points per game, the lowest mark of his career. He's shooting an abysmal 41.7 percent from the floor and 29.8 percent from downtown. Just a season ago, Wiggins averaged 17.1 points per game and knocked down nearly 40 percent of his triples. The decline has been steep, but it's far too early to lose faith in such a talented player.

The combination of the Warriors' poor record, Wiggins' less-than-stellar play, and Golden State's cap space predicament have led to Wiggins' trade chatter.

With the former Timberwolf now on the trade block, does a reunion in Minneapolis make sense? The Warriors forward is owed $84 million over the next three seasons. And, he'll be 31 years old when his player option kicks in.

However, Wiggins is still a staunch defender and an incredible athlete in the middle of what should be his prime. His addition to any team would be a plus. Nevertheless, a reunion in Minnesota doesn't fit the bill.

The Timberwolves are locked into the forward position for years to come. Young wing, Jaden McDaniels, signed a five-year $136 million extension before the start of the season.

Similar to Wiggins, McDaniels has seen a decline to begin the year. He's averaging fewer points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks than a season ago. Yet McDaniels is six years Wiggins' junior, thus positive regression is likely.

Furthermore, the Timberwolves forward is an All-NBA level defender. He ranks top-100 in the association in defensive rating, win shares, and box plus/minus. He's also one of 29 players to average 0.6 or more blocks and steals per game.

Aside from McDaniels, Towns fills the other starting forward spot. Although a natural center, Towns has spent 94 percent of his time this season the power forward position. The former Wildcat is averaging 21.8 points per game while nearly slashing the highly-praised 50/40/90 split. He's currently shooting 89.9 percent from the free-throw line.

Although Towns' name has been involved in trade rumors, he seems to be an entrenched member of the core. He's in the last year of his contract, but the Timberwolves are finally playing an excellent brand of basketball.

Re-signing with Minnesota seems inevitable for Towns, especially if the Wolves make a deep playoff run. Locking up a core of Towns, Edwards, Gobert, and McDaniels is essential for future success.

With McDaniels and Towns locked into the starting forward spots, and superstar Edwards at the two-guard, Wiggins' fit is questionable at best. A spot on the bench is plausible, but paying nearly $90 over the next three seasons for a bench player is a tough pill to swallow.

A return to Minnesota may be enticing for the outcasted Warrior, as Wiggins is clearly in need of a change of scenery. Nonetheless, Wiggins' inclusion on the Timberwolves roster is not feasible due to the current roster construction.