In 2014, the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Andrew Wiggins with the first overall pick out of the University of Kansas. Just a few weeks later, he was involved in a three team trade that would send him to the Minnesota Timberwolves. That season, Wiggins was one of the loan bright spots in what ended up being a long season for the Timberwolves who finished just 16-66. Wiggins averaged 17 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2 assists and would go on to win rookie of the year. After a solid rookie season, many people thought Wiggins would continue to progress into an NBA all-star within the next few years. However, that has NOT been the case.
Since his rookie season, Wiggins has struggled with taking the next step and becoming a star. In his fifth season, he is averaging 18 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. These stats are far too similar to his rookie year. Additionally, Wiggins has been terribly inefficient, shooting less than 40% from the field this season. With the departure of Jimmy Butler the Timberwolves lack a true number two to support their all star center Karl-Anthony Towns. Derrick Rose has had an absolutely great comeback season this year, but he cannot be the long term solution for a number two scorer. Unfortunately, Wiggins has not been able to live up to the hype of his earlier career; however, one potential option that could benefit both parties would be a trade.
Andrew Wiggins still has the potential to be an NBA all star later in his career, he is only 23 years old and has shown his ability in the past to be a game changer. With the trade deadline coming up a change in scenery might be the best option for Wiggins at this point. However, he is in the first year of a 5 year $146.5 million contract. Add that contract to his less than desirable play, and you are looking at a huge obstacle.
Along with his contract his notably soft play has been an issue. One of the best attributes that Wiggins has is his athleticism. Add in his height at 6′ 8” and the fact that he is playing nearly 35 mpg and you should get a player that is grabbing more than 4 rebounds a game. Sadly, the soft play does not end there for Wiggins. He is also soft when it comes to the offensive end of the floor. Instead of taking the ball into the paint, where he has actually had some success, he settles for too many mid range jumpers. This season, Wiggins has attempted 777 shots, of those 777 shots 356 of them have been from mid range, and Wiggins is only shooting 32% on those mid range jumpers. That is way too many mid range shots and a terrible shooting percentage especially in todays NBA where the midrange game is almost irrelevant.
Sadly, Wiggin’s lack of progression, awful contract, and soft play have caught up to the Timberwolves. They have gone from a playoff team last year, to the current 11th seed in the west. Hopefully, Wiggins has a better second half of the season, but as of now it is looking like a trade might be the best option for both parties.