Jon Krawczynski: Wigg on Glen wanting to meet before de…

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Jon Krawczynski: Wiggins says he's operating without an agent. Leaning on family and a tight circle as he navigates this situation
The Timberwolves prioritized extending Wiggins this offseason, and both sides are hopeful of completing the contract shortly, league sources told The Vertical. Minnesota owner Glen Taylor told a Minnesota TV station this week that he expected to complete a deal with Wiggins before the team started training camp Saturday. Wiggins’ previous agent, Bill Duffy, negotiated a maximum contract with the Timberwolves this summer before the sides parted ways.
October 16 is the deadline for teams to sign eligible players from the 2014 draft class to rookie-scale extensions before they hit restricted free agency next summer. There have already been multiple reports that the Wolves and Sixers will look to ink their young stars, and multiple league sources have told me they expect Andrew Wiggins to sign once he gets his new agency in order. Joel Embiid’s fate is less clear, considering his significant injury history.
After agent Bill Duffy negotiated a five-year, $148 million maximum contract extension for forward Andrew Wiggins with the Minnesota Timberwolves, it is unclear how quickly Wiggins will sign the deal after he filed papers to sever ties with his representation at BDA Sports.
Minnesota management sent Duffy and Wiggins a contract for a rookie extension deal, but Wiggins filed paperwork Tuesday with the National Basketball Players Association to terminate his relationship with the agency, Duffy told ESPN.
Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Monday that he is ready to commit nearly $150 million to Andrew Wiggins with a max-level extension of his rookie contract. Before he does so, Taylor wants to sit down face-to-face with Wiggins to hear the former No. 1 overall pick commit to the franchise in a similar fashion.
Taylor spoke with Wiggins when the two attended assistant coach Ryan Saunders' wedding in July, but the owner is looking for a little more substance before they close the deal. Wiggins' agent, Billy Duffy of BDA Sports, is expected to arrive in town next week to continue the discussions, and a five-year, $148 million extension could happen soon after.
Taylor said he wants to hear a commitment from Wiggins to work out often in the Twin Cities in the summer and improve all areas of his game to fulfill the obligations that come with a max deal. "I just think it's important," Taylor said. "If a guy is a real star and he really cares about it, which I think he does, I think it's a commitment. I'm not sure that he wouldn't do it anyway. But I think that's part of the negotiations."
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor reiterated on Friday that the team is working on signing forward Andrew Wiggins to a five-year maximum contract extension, saying that those discussions are in the early stages. “First of all, I think he likes it here, we like him, he can get the very best contract from me, better than he can get from anyone else,” Taylor, who also owns the Star Tribune, said in Mankato. “I don’t think we have any trouble of offering him the max anyway.”
Taylor said that the Wolves’ plans involve extending Wiggins now and Karl-Anthony Towns next year. “We are talking to [Wiggins’] agent right now about extending him out another five years, so we can do that,” Taylor said. “Karl, we won’t do that until next year. Wiggins, we want to sign him to a long-term contract, we want to keep him here, and we’re negotiating with his agent. But we just started that negotiation, and we have quite some time to get that done.”
While Wiggins said that he is taking a “day by day” approach to the contract discussions, he didn’t waver when asked whether he was worthy of a max contract, which could reach $148 million over five years with a starting salary of $25.5 million. “I definitely do,” Wiggins told The Crossover. “Nothing less.”
Andrew Wiggins: I'm worth 'nothing less' than a max contract. Jon Krawczynski: Wolves have been aware these are the parameters for some time. twitter.com/thecrossover/s…
The 2014 No. 1 pick arrived in Minnesota prior to his rookie season thanks to a summer trade with Cleveland. Kyrie Irving’s reported trade request has sparked speculation that the Timberwolves might trade Wiggins back to the Cavaliers in a deal for the All-Star point guard, but Wiggins refused to take questions on trade scenarios and maintained that he wants to play in Minnesota next season. Wiggins also spoke optimistically of his new pairing with Butler, saying that he felt the two scoring-minded wings would “complement each other’s game and make each other better,” and said that he has been placing special emphasis on his three-point shooting and ball-handling this summer.
Wiggins is eligible to sign one of two five-year maximum "designated" extensions the Wolves are allowed by the league's new labor agreement for players on their rookie contracts. The Wolves have until October to complete a negotiation that shouldn't take all that much negotiating if Wiggins accepts a contract that's expected to approach $150 million. "We're working on it right now," Wolves coach/president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau said Wednesday.
The good news is that the Timberwolves will need to make only one phone call for extension dialogue with Wiggins and LaVine because they have the same representative in agent Bill Duffy. But the players have different circumstances. LaVine is recovering from right ACL surgery in mid-February, and the Timberwolves need to measure their comfort level in giving Wiggins a max-level contract.
So the Wolves’ primary focus will be on free-agent acquisitions and making decisions on whether to extend third-year players Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine. Those two are under contract through the 2018-19 season, but in those seasons they would be restricted free agents, and it might be smarter to try and get extensions done now. “We might have to address Wiggins and Zach during this summer to extend their contracts but we could wait two years and Towns would be one year after that,” Taylor said. “It’s something we can start negotiating with them this year but we don’t have to.”
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