Storyline: Andrew Wiggins Trade?

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One name brought up often in recent days has been Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, who could become available should the Raptors look to make wholesale changes following a third straight loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Wiggins’ Canadian roots could make him an attractive option for the Raptors and good reason to hope that they could get the best out of him while playing in his backyard. In some ways, DeRozan could provide a good blueprint for Wiggins to follow. DeRozan didn’t become a real star in the league until his fifth year and has proven to be effective even though he isn’t a knockdown three-point shooter. But his game is also similar to Butler’s, so it is hard to see how a swap like that would give the Wolves what they are looking for in terms of a different look aside their leader.

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But from what I can gather, Wiggins doesn’t have a huge amount of value on the market right now. He’s about to start a five-year, $148 million contract and is coming off of a less-than-convincing fourth season in the league. If there isn’t a great market, they might be better off just holding on to him and trying to keep developing him. I still think that the best possible outcome for the Wolves is to get Wiggins to blossom into the kind of All-Star caliber player the organization envisioned when he was signed to the max extension.

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.

The Timberwolves explored several trade options in June, including for Chicago star Jimmy Butler, but Thibodeau, also Minnesota’s president of basketball operations, now sounds as committed as anyone in the franchise to his young trio. Outside the organization, executives wonder about Minnesota’s inclination to keep all three. But within the franchise, there is no question: management and owner Glen Taylor will do whatever it takes financially in order to win. “I love our core three guys, and what I love most is their work ethic, their dedication to work,” Thibodeau said. “They understand the level we need to reach, particularly defensively, and their work shows that they will work to get it right. We understand that it’s going to take some time and we need to work at it each and every day.”
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