There was a lot of pressure on the Minnesota Timberwolves heading into the 2017-18 NBA season. They are expected to make the playoffs and possibly move into the second round after acquiring Jimmy Butler in an offseason trade last summer. Butler formed a “Big Three” with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins while Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson were signed to solidify the lineup.
With just 13 games remaining, all very important, the Timberwolves might have a big problem in hand. According to Darren Wolfson of KSTP (h/t Derek James of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities), Andrew Wiggins has “whispered to teammates” that he is unhappy with his role in Minnesota. Wiggins is the third option in the Timberwolves offense behind Butler and Towns as the team seeks their first NBA playoff appearance since the 2003-04 NBA season when Kevin Garnett was the MVP.
The 23-year-old swingman is currently averaging 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game this season. It’s a down year for Wiggins in terms of scoring as he averaged a career-high 23.6 points last year as the second option behind Towns. However, the arrival of Butler, who is currently out with a knee injury, has affected the production of Wiggins and he might want to have a bigger role moving forward.
In the absence of Butler, Andrew Wiggins has picked up his scoring in March as he averages close to 20 points per game. Head coach Tom Thibodeau had nothing but praise for Wiggins in the Timberwolves’ impressive 109-103 victory over the Golden State Warriors. Wiggins had 23 points as he attacked the basket consistently rather than settle with the jumpshot.
“I think he’s played, for the most part, really well since the all-star break, and I want more. I want more aggressiveness. I want him to keep attacking. His teammates do. When he gets downhill, it’s almost impossible to stop,” Thibodeau told the media after the game, per Twin Cities Pioneer Express.
Andrew Wiggins was taken first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2014 NBA Draft. Wiggins was part of the three-team megadeal that sent Kevin Love to Cleveland. In Minnesota, Wiggins has a career average of 19.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game while shooting 44.8 percent from the field and 32.8 percent from behind the arc. He signed a five-year, $148 million contract extension before the start of the season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves currently sits sixth in the NBA Western Conference standings. They were expected to make the NBA playoffs this season, but with just 4.5 games separating the third seed and the ninth seed, an unhappy Andrew Wiggins might cause trouble in Minnesota down the stretch. Nevertheless, these are just purely speculative at this point and should be taken with a grain of salt.