The Kyrie Irving trade rumors keep rolling in, and now the Minnesota Timberwolves are apparently one of the many suitors to the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard. And while it’s not sure which players or draft picks the Timberwolves are willing to give up to bring the multiple-time All-Star guard to Minnesota, their former coach opined that star small forward Andrew Wiggins would make for good trade bait if he had a chance to make the trade himself.
In an interview with the Associated Press‘ Jon Krawczynski on SiriusXM NBA Radio, the former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach, Sam Mitchell, talked about the recent spate of Kyrie Irving trade rumors and how Minnesota could land a deal for the talented guard. Citing that interview, Hoops Hype noted that Mitchell would only want to trade Andrew Wiggins if he’s fully assured of getting Irving in return, and no one else from the Cavs’ roster.
Hoops Hype added that the Timberwolves are currently trying to extend Wiggins’ contract, with a potential big-money deal that would reportedly pay $148 million over five years.
Wiggins, 22, who was the first-overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, averaged a career-best 23.6 points, as well as 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game for the Timberwolves in the 2016-17 season, according to Basketball Reference. He’s also looking forward to what could potentially be a more talented supporting cast, as the Wolves recently added former Chicago Bulls wingman Jimmy Butler and veteran point guard Jeff Teague to a lineup that also includes the talented young center, Karl-Anthony Towns.
This isn’t the first time that recent Kyrie Irving trade rumors have pointed to a move to Minnesota. As the Inquisitr had written last week, both Towns and Butler were rumored to be trying to convince Irving to join the Timberwolves, which meshes with earlier reports that Butler and Irving had become friends when they played together for Team USA. But with Teague having been signed to a three-year, $19 million contract, that already gives Minnesota a solid presence at point guard, and arguably, an upgrade over last year’s duo of Ricky Rubio and Kris Dunn.
Then again, there’s another reason why Irving joining the Timberwolves makes sense — the potential to help improve poor attendance figures in Minnesota, as Kyrie has become very well-known as LeBron James’ superstar teammate at point guard. And as ESPN‘s Brian Windhorst explained, Andrew Wiggins could indeed be a good choice as trade bait, although it’ll all come down to whatever Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor decides.
“The only thing that the Wolves could really do would be Wiggins. In my mind, Jimmy Butler is a better player than Kyrie Irving. … Having said that, Kyrie is a tremendous business addition. He is one of the five most popular players in the NBA – he’s not one of the five best, but he’s one of the five most popular. And the Wolves were second-to-last in attendance last year, I believe, and you’d have a guy instantaneously who is a business driver.”
Do you think Kyrie Irving should be traded, as rumored, to Minnesota? Do you think he’d make a great fit on the Timberwolves? And is Andrew Wiggins truly the best Timberwolves player to give up in order to get Irving? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images]