Andrew Wiggins RumorsAll NBA Players
Height: 6-8 / 2.03
Weight:200 lbs. / 90.7 kg.
Height: 6-8 / 2.03
Weight:200 lbs. / 90.7 kg.
“If you would’ve told me last year we’d be in this position, I’d be happy with it. So, I’m happy with where we are,” Wiggins told Yahoo Sports. “It’s a battle. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. It’s hard but that’s what we’re for, what we asked for. It’s competition, it’s what we love. I think we’re capable of beating any team. We’ve got the talent and we’ve got the guys working hard to do it. We can beat any team.”
For the Timberwolves to truly ascend into elite status, Wiggins will have to prove to be a special, transformative talent but the clock is ticking on that sort of progression. Wiggins continues to go at his own pace, leaving that slow-burning fire inside and unmoved by outside criticism. “I don’t really care much with people’s opinions. I just play. I don’t really talk or listen to the outside. I kind of have a close circle I listen to, and that’s it. Anything else, I don’t even,” Wiggins told Yahoo Sports. “Jimmy’s not a guy that can really be replaced by one person. It’s on the whole team to do that. I’ve got to be more aggressive. The ball is in my hands more, so I have to make good decisions. Some games, my shot may not be falling, I may have a bad game but I always feel good, always feel confident.”
Butler brought his blunt, take-it-or-leave-it leadership style from Chicago and used his familiarity with Thibodeau to lift Towns and Wiggins out of the pressure-free stages of their careers. But Butler’s unfortunate setback in the first game after the All-Star break removed those trusty training wheels. “You don’t want to see anyone get injured, certainly not Jimmy, and we know we can’t replace him individually. We have to do it collectively,” Thibodeau told Yahoo Sports. “But whenever someone goes out, it’s an opportunity for others to step up and grow. So we want to take advantage of this … and really, the only way you can learn is to go through it.”
Thibodeau knew that establishing a winning culture in Minnesota would take time, regardless of the talent on the roster. But he’s starting to see some growth in the young stars, with Towns demanding the ball in crunch time and Wiggins sacrificing shots to expend energy chasing down the opposing team’s best perimeter scorer on the defensive end. “Andrew and Karl, their impact on winning has been far greater this year than it was last year, even though, statistically, they scored more. But they’re making winning plays. They’re playing unselfishly. They’re passing the ball against the double-team. Their defense has vastly improved. That’s what you have to do win,” Thibodeau told Yahoo Sports.
The patience that might be reserved for the development of Towns and Wiggins doesn’t negate the immense pressure. Derrick Rose, a recent free-agent pickup reuniting with Thibodeau, became the league’s youngest MVP at age 22 and can relate to the challenge. “Hell yeah, you’re going to feel that [pressure], no matter what, no matter where you are, no matter what’s going on with the team … it’s no excuses. No crying about it. Nobody is going to feel sorry for you or nothing like that,” Rose told Yahoo Sports.
Nate Duncan: Do you think that Andrew Wiggins, a couple of years from now, is on [the Minnesota Timberwolves]? Do you think there’s a chance they might move on from him, given how he’s played this year? Marc Stein: I think that’s something that people will be looking at and I think other teams will be coming after him. Because he’s, at best, gonna be the third option if you’re playing with Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns. [….] I don’t think there’s any question that Wiggins’ future is gonna be talked about. He’s under contract now—it’s a big number but for some teams, that appeals, to be able to get a guy when there is contract certainty and you know you’ve got him, there will be teams who want to trade for that.
On Wednesday, a radio remark on 1500ESPN that said Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins has whispered to teammates he’s unhappy being a third option behind Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns ricocheted around the internet. After Thursday’s practice, Thibodeau called the claim and its sourcing “total nonsense” and said, “I know Andrew’s character. There’s no way in the world Andrew is saying any of that, particularly from a guy who’s taken the most shots on our team.”