After ending their 13-year playoff drought, the Minnesota Timberwolves have once again returned from being one of the worst NBA teams in the league, ending the 2018-19 NBA season as the No. 11 seed in the deep Western Conference. The drama involving Jimmy Butler and the number of players who went down with injuries were undeniably some of the major reasons behind the Timberwolves’ struggle this season.
However, there are people who think that Andrew Wiggins’ lackluster performance also contributed to the Timberwolves’ inability to reach the postseason. After averaging 18.1 points per game, Wiggins remains as one of the Timberwolves’ top scoring options this season. Unfortunately, aside from his ability to knock down shots, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes that the 24-year-old small forward has been “objectively bad at almost everything” and failed to live up to expectations from a former No. 1 overall pick who signed a massive contract extension.
When the season officially ended for the Timberwolves, rumors and speculations have started to circulate that the Timberwolves may consider trading Andrew Wiggins in the 2019 NBA offseason. Wiggins’ lucrative contract could make it hard for the Timberwolves to find a trade partner this summer, but Buckley believes that a rebuilding team like the Atlanta Hawks could take a chance at the 24-year-old small forward.
“If you’re the Hawks, and you have both time on your side and significant cap space, wouldn’t you at least consider adding Wiggins if you can add him without sacrificing anything of substance and collect a moderately valuable second-rounder while doing it? If Wiggins moves down the offensive food chain, maybe that allows him to expend more energy on defense. If he plays alongside gravitational forces like Trae Young (a threat from anywhere), Kevin Huerter (a perimeter splasher in perpetual motion) and John Collins (a rolling rim-rocker), maybe that increases his shot quality and improves his efficiency.”
Mike Conley for Gordon Hayward and picks? For Andrew Wiggins? Potential Conley trades were a hot topic in this week's Grizzlies mailbag https://t.co/yzispZ7fX2
— Omari Sankofa II (@omarisankofa) May 28, 2019
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Timberwolves will be sending Andrew Wiggins and the No. 43 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to the Hawks in exchange for Kent Bazemore and Miles Plumlee. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If the trade becomes a reality, it will be beneficial for both the Hawks and the Timberwolves.
The Hawks will be adding another young and talented player to their already promising core. Andrew Wiggins may have failed to live up to expectations in Minnesota, but a change in scenery could bring him back to the right path to becoming a legitimate NBA superstar in the league.
Meanwhile, aside from getting rid of Andrew Wiggins’ massive contract, the Timberwolves will be acquiring two veteran role players who could help them compete for a playoff spot next season. Kent Bazemore will give the Timberwolves a reliable three-point shooter and lockdown defender, while Miles Plumlee could serve as the primary backup for Karl-Anthony Towns.