As expected, Andrew Wiggins and the Timberwolves are nearing an agreement on a 5-year contract that will pay the soon-to-be fourth-year wing $148 million.
Darren Wolfson recently spoke to owner Glen Taylor, who revealed the deal should be wrapped up before Saturday’s first practice in San Diego. (In case you missed it, the team will hold the team’s training camp at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University.)
The Wiggins 5-years, $148M extension is expected to be done before Saturday's 1st practice, per a chat I had w/ owner Glen Taylor. #Twolves— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) September 18, 2017
This news should not come as a surprise to anyone following along. This has been carved in stone for quite some time. But the process has been a bit messy after Wiggins surprisingly fired his agent, Bill Duffy, after he negotiated the $148 million max extension with the Timberwolves, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. (But to be fair, and Taylor has echoed this, there really wasn’t much to negotiate.)
The decision to cut ties with BDA Sports last month has held up the deal, but according to Doogie and others, Duffy is still expected to get commission on the contract as the NBPA has rules in place that protect agents in a situation like this. According to Woj’s previous report, rival agencies and potential start-up enterprises had been trying to lure Wiggins away from BDA with offers that included no commission fees on contracts.
The inevitable investment in Wiggins is almost wrapped up and the result will be more pressure than ever before to prove he’s worth the cost of keeping him in Minneapolis long-term. It’s obvious Wiggins isn’t worth this money at the moment, and there are plenty of people who believe he is simply not a max level player, but the Wolves are betting big on his future and asking him to take multiple steps forward in his fourth NBA season. They need him to become a much more complete and efficient player if he is going to ultimately fulfill the promise that made him the number one pick in 2014 (and the key asset obtained by Flip Saunders during the Summer of Love).
There’s little doubt Wiggins needs to improve in many different areas—starting with defense, playmaking, and shot selection—for this deal to be mutually beneficial in the end. But Tom Thibodeau and the organization firmly believe he possesses all of the tools to become one of the best wings in the league down the road. Making the necessary improvements (or not) is without a doubt one of the biggest storylines of the upcoming season.