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Shams Charania of The Vertical reported Wiggins’ contract is a five-year, $146.5 million max deal with no player option. That $146.5 million figure is based on the NBA’s projected $101 million salary cap for the 2018-19 season, which is still subject to change.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said in a statement, “Andrew is one of the best players in the NBA and he has the talent and work ethic to get even better and be a foundation for our franchise for many years.”
Wiggins, 22, continues to show improvement on offense, having posted a career-high 23.6 points per game last season. While his defensive impact isn’t yet up to snuff, he has the athleticism to become an excellent player on that end of the floor as well.
In July, Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau told ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell that Wiggins’ “challenge is to be a complete player.” He believes trade acquisition Jimmy Butler “will be great to have next to Andrew.”
Wiggins is now paired with Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns to give the Timberwolves one of the most intriguing cores in the Western Conference. That trio is expected to lead the team to a postseason berth, and if Butler ultimately decides to remain with the team for the long term—he’s under contract through the 2018-19 season, with a player option in 2019-20—the Timberwolves have championship upside in the coming years.
Butler seemed excited to join the team’s young talent during his introductory press conference in June.
“These guys can really play, put the ball in the basket,” Butler said, per AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today. “We’re gonna guard, we’re gonna get out in transition. … We’re gonna be tough. We’re gonna be tough.”
Wiggins gives the Wolves one of the best third options in the NBA, and the trio should give opposing defenses nightmares. The team will go as far as its defense develops, however, as it ranked only 26th in terms of defensive efficiency, per NBA.com. That was one of the major factors which limited Minnesota to a 31-51 record last year.
Up next in extension talks figures to be Karl-Anthony Towns, who will be eligible to sign a maximum extension after this season. With Wiggins already signed for the long haul, Towns almost assuredly will follow suit next offseason.