When they selected him as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves thought Andrew Wiggins would be the player who could help them win their first-ever NBA championship title. Wiggins had shown consistent improvement with his performance in his first three years in the NBA, and was poised to become a significant talent to build a team around. However, in the past two seasons, the 24-year-old small forward has been inconsistent on both ends of the floor, making some people wonder if the Timberwolves made the right decision when they gave him a massive contract extension in the summer of 2017.
The Timberwolves were one of the worst teams in the league in the 2018-19 NBA season, where Andrew Wiggins averaged 18.1 points, 4.8 rebounds. 2.5 assists, and 1.0 steals while shooting 41.2 percent from the field and 33.9 percent from beyond the arc. Despite the team going through some ups and downs, however, they are still not giving up on Wiggins. In an interview with Chris Hines of the Star Tribune, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas said that they are expecting Wiggins to become a “main contributor” for their team next season.
“Andrew in particular with his talent and physical abilities, the potential he’s shown, we’ve got to get that on a more consistent basis,” Rosas said. “He’s focused on it as well. In order for us to have the success we want to have, he’s got to be a main contributor. He understands that, we understand that.”
Five years ago today, the Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins trade happened.
What if the Wolves kept Love?
What if the Wolves traded Love for Klay Thompson?
What if the Cavs drafted Jabari Parker or Joel Embiid instead of Wiggins?
— SKOR North (@SKORNorth) August 24, 2019
Rosas believes it’s unfair for Wiggins to take all the blame for the inconsistencies with his performance. The Timberwolves’ President said there have been several factors that have affected Wiggins which were ultimately out of the player’s control, such as the number of coaches he’s had to work with over the last five years. Rosas and the other members of the Timberwolves’ management team are hoping that Ryan Saunders, who was named the new head coach after serving as an interim one last season, is the man that could help Wiggins unlock his full potential.
“To be fair to (Wiggins), he needs some continuity in terms of coaching, philosophy, strategy and style of play,” Rosas said. “We think he’s going to be one of the better beneficiaries of this style of play.”
The Timberwolves will definitely be needing more from Andrew Wiggins if they are serious about earning a playoff spot in the 2019-20 NBA season. The Western Conference is a deep one, with a large number of highly-competitive teams. Wiggins needs to live up to expectations and help lead his team to success. If he doesn’t, it is highly likely that the Timberwolves will reevaluate his future in Minnesota before the 2020 February trade deadline.