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Glen Taylor Discusses Andrew Wiggins and His Future

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Glen Taylor: “I’m willing to meet the max. But there are some things that I need out of him, and that is the commitment to be a better player than you are today.”

NBA Commissioner David Stern Announces Retirement Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

In a tweet-storm of sorts Monday evening and then an article posted at APnews.com, Jon Krawczynski reported that Glen Taylor is requesting a face-to-face meeting with Andrew Wiggins to get a verbal commitment “that his contribution to the team will be more in the future,” before Taylor forks over the maximum contract of $148 million.

This report is a pivot off of Taylor’s comments last week when he joined KSTP’s Darren Wolfson on The Scoop Podcast. To Wolfson, Taylor had made the maximum seem as if it were a given. And to be fair, it still may be. This could all just be Taylor enjoying the sound of his own voice.

A face-to-face meeting may just be old-school style business being pedaled by the Wolves 76-year-old owner. Taylor may just want some simple reassurances from Wiggins that he will do his job before taking the cash — much like a parent double-checking that their child has completed chores before handing over an allowance.

“He can’t be paid just for what he’s doing today. He’s got to be better,” said Taylor about Wiggins while reaffirming he believes the improvement is coming. To Taylor, working out in the Twin Cities in the summer on “all areas of his game” is one of the requisite obligations that come with a maximum extension.

“I think it’s important. I don’t know what else you can do but look at the person face-to-face and trust that he will follow through,” Taylor said. “He seems like a very good person. He seems to have the ability and so the only thing it would be is for some reason he didn’t work hard enough to obtain the skill sets. That’s what you’re asking him to commit to.”

This is all a bit odd as there does seem to be an understanding between both sides that a max is happening. Wiggins has been quoted saying that he believes he is worth “Nothing Less” than a max and Taylor, yesterday, said that he is “willing to meet the max.” But all of this talking with Wolfson and these new statements to Krawczynski is a bit of an awkward look.

Personally, I have trepidations about a $148 million contract to Wiggins. I have touched on the strife this size of a deal would put on the Wolves’ salary cap in the future.

Wolves Cap Sheet Going Forward

Player Salary '17-18 Extension? Salary '18-19 Extension? Salary '19-20 Salary '20-21 Salary '21-22 Salary '22-23 Salary '23-24
Player Salary '17-18 Extension? Salary '18-19 Extension? Salary '19-20 Salary '20-21 Salary '21-22 Salary '22-23 Salary '23-24
Jimmy Butler $19,301,070 $20,445,779 if max extension $34,020,000 $36,741,600 $39,680,928 $42,855,402 $46,283,834
Jeff Teague $19,000,000 $19,000,000 $19,000,000
Gorgui Dieng $14,112,360 $15,170,787 $16,229,213 $17,287,640
Taj Gibson $14,000,000 $14,000,000
Andrew Wiggins $7,574,323 if max extension $25,500,000 $27,540,000 $29,743,200 $32,122,656 $34,692,468
Cole Aldrich $7,300,000 $6,956,021
Karl-Anthony Towns $6,216,840 $7,839,435 if max extension $27,000,000 $29,160,000 $31,492,800 $34,012,224 $36,733,202
Jamal Crawford $4,328,000 $4,544,400
Nemanja Bjelica $3,949,999
Justin Patton $2,247,480 $2,667,600 $3,117,240 $4,781,846
Tyus Jones $1,471,382 $2,444,503
Kevin Martin (waived) $1,360,305
---------
Sum of Salaries $100,861,759 $118,568,525 $126,906,453 $117,714,286 $103,296,384 $111,560,094 $83,017,036
Estimated Salary Cap $99,093,000 $102,000,000 $108,000,000 $113,400,000 $119,070,000 $125,024,000 $131,275,000
Luxury Tax Line $119,266,000 $123,000,000 $131,000,000 $137,550,000 $144,428,000 $151,649,000 $159,231,000

There is a risk inherent in rolling out this type of deal to a not yet complete player. A risk that could be mitigated through a trade.

Waiting until October 14th — the last day an extension can be tendered — to offer the extension to Wiggins also makes sense. The Wolves could use the next two months to wait out the dysfunction in Cleveland. If the Cavs come down from their reported high cost of acquiring Kyrie Irving, Minnesota would do well to not have extended Wiggins. This is because a contract extension makes Wiggins’ contract very difficult to be traded through the “poison pill” provision. But it appears as if that won’t happen; The Wolves are unwilling to make Wiggins available.

But if a maximum extension is to happen, as seems inevitable, that too is a fine path. The mixing of words is not fine. Any fan who has been keeping up with Taylor’s comments can’t help but think this is all a bit confusing.

Glen Taylor owns the team, meaning: he can say whatever he wants. But the way in which he is going about this is just a bad look for all sides. My hope is that this extension is worked out quickly or, at the very least, worked out quietly so as to minimize confusion and the risk of alienation.