Certain teams face difficult decisions over the coming weeks: whether or not to sign prospective restricted free agents to long-term extensions before the league-imposed deadline at the start of the 2017-18 regular season. If these franchises choose to pass, they will be forced to haggle with players’ agents next offseason; feelings could get hurt, offers sheets could be signed and overall, the circumstances get a bit stickier. We explore these situations in depth.
Today: Andrew Wiggins
Why would Minnesota extend Wiggins?
Andrew Wiggins has upped his scoring average every season of his career. He’s coming off a year that saw him average 23.6 points and 2.3 assists per game.
Wiggins shot a career-best 35.6 percent from three-point range. Plus, he’s excellent when cutting to the basket and on putbacks.
Standing at 6-foot-8, Wiggins is one of the most athletic wings in the league.
He has thrown down monster dunks on multiple big men, including Rudy Gobert and Javale McGee.
In 2016-17, he became one of just nine players in NBA history to average at least 23.5 points per game with a 53.0 true shooting percentage or better by the age of 21.
In extending him, you would be securing one of the league’s premier young wings for the long haul.
Why would Minnesota pass on extending Wiggins?
Wiggins struggles as a rebounder despite his physical gifts. He also displays waning effort defensively, and often falls asleep on back-cuts.
Although he scores a lot, he also shoots a lot. His efficiency needs to improve.
By allowing him to enter free agency, you would not tie yourself down to a player who isn’t totally proven for the long haul.
And you would save money for eventual Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns extensions.
After all, they are the team’s true key pieces.
What deal makes sense for both parties?
In today’s market, getting Wiggins extended under the max would be difficult.
The fairest deal, however, would be something along the lines of five years, $100 million.