Andrew Wiggins

Poll: Is Embiid Or Wiggins The Better Investment?

Two 2014 first-round picks signed five-year, maximum salary contract extensions within the last few days, beating the October 16 deadline for rookie scale extensions. While both players are, of course, significantly valued by their respective teams, Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins have had very different NBA careers so far.

Embiid’s injury problems have been well chronicled, to the point that they’re hardly worth revisiting, but the upshot is that those health issues have limited him to just 31 games in three NBA seasons. Even when he did see the court, the Sixers center was on a minutes restriction, averaging about 25 minutes per contest.

However, in his 786 career minutes, Embiid has looked like a generational talent, combining an ability to rebound and protect the rim (7.8 RPG, 2.5 BPG) with a knack for scoring both in the post and from beyond the arc (.367 3PT%).

Wiggins, on the other hand, has been incredibly durable during his first three NBA seasons, missing just one of 246 possible games. He has also steadily increased his scoring numbers each season, pouring in a career-high 23.6 PPG in 2016/17.

Those scoring totals are more reliant on volume than efficiency though, and Wiggins’ ability to put the ball in the basket hasn’t been complemented by many other on-court contributions — his defense has been shaky, he doesn’t get many rebounds or assists, and his three-point shot, despite improving last season, remains somewhat unreliable.

Both the Sixers and Timberwolves locked up their respective youngsters because of their potential. In Embiid’s case, it’s his potential to stay healthy. For Wiggins, it’s his potential to develop into a more well-rounded, complete player.

Philadelphia’s agreement with Embiid includes some language that protects the Sixers in the event that the former third overall pick continues to battle injuries in problematic areas, like his feet and back. But in that scenario, the Sixers would have to waive Embiid outright, and they’d still be on the hook for significant guaranteed money — approximately $84MM if they waive him one year into the deal, $98MM if they waive him after two years, and so on.

Wiggins’ contract, meanwhile, doesn’t include that sort of protection. It’s a straight five-year deal with no options.

Given those parameters, which contract would you feel more comfortable with for the next half-decade? Do you have more confidence in Wiggins to develop his game and make good on the Timberwolves’ investment in him, or would you rather be in the Sixers’ spot with Embiid, rolling the dice on his ability to stay healthy and to become one of the league’s premier bigs?

Vote below in our poll and jump into the comment section to share your thoughts!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

Timberwolves Sign Andrew Wiggins To Extension

The Timberwolves have officially signed fourth-year wing Andrew Wiggins to a rookie scale extension, the team confirmed today in a press release. Although the club’s announcement didn’t mention the terms of the agreement, previous reports have indicated that Wiggins will get a five-year, maximum salary contract with no player option. The deal projects to be worth about $146.5MM, based on the latest cap estimates for 2018/19.AndrewWiggins vertical

“We’re very excited that Andrew has decided to commit his future to the Timberwolves,” head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau said in a statement. “We feel strongly that he is just scratching the surface of the player he will become. Andrew is among the elite young talents in our league and the sky is the limit for him.”

Today’s announcement ends a saga that had unexpectedly dragged out for the last couple months. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor publicly stated during the summer that he was willing to put a five-year, maximum salary offer on the table for Wiggins if he could meet with the former No. 1 overall pick face to face first. Taylor wanted a verbal commitment from Wiggins that he was committed to both the Wolves and to improving his game.

Although Taylor and Wiggins had that meeting, an agreement was delayed further when the 22-year-old filed paperwork to part ways with agent Bill Duffy, who had negotiated the deal. Having put the extension together, Duffy will still receive a cut of Wiggins’ new contract, but the timing of the change was unusual. It postponed the completion of the deal while Wiggins secured new representation, and ultimately the Wolves forward didn’t finalize the agreement until five days before the October 16 deadline.

Now that it’s official, Wiggins will be locked up through the 2022/23 season, with his new five-year pact going into effect next July. Currently, the NBA is projecting a $101MM salary cap for 2018/19, which would result in a starting salary of $25.25MM for Wiggins. His deal would increase by 8% annually from there.

For the Timberwolves, it’s a significant investment in Wiggins, who has developed into one of the NBA’s most dangerous scorers, but struggled on the defensive side of the ball last season, and doesn’t contribute much in other statistical categories. Wiggins increased his three-point percentage to 35.6% in 2016/17, which was easily a career high, but averaged a modest 4.0 RPG and 2.3 APG. He’ll be counted on to continue to develop further under the tutelage of offseason addition Jimmy Butler.

Taking into account Wiggins’ projected salary and Karl-Anthony Towns‘ team option, the Timberwolves now have nearly $108MM in guaranteed salary on their books for 2018/19. That figure doesn’t include various player or team options for Jamal Crawford, Shabazz Muhammad, and Tyus Jones.

Wiggins is the fourth player eligible for a rookie scale extension to agree to terms on a new deal. Joel Embiid (Sixers), Gary Harris (Nuggets), and T.J. Warren (Suns) also reached agreements with their respective teams.

Remaining extension candidates such as Rodney Hood, Marcus Smart, Jusuf Nurkic, Clint Capela, and Jabari Parker will have until the end of the day on Monday to sign deals of their own — otherwise they’ll be eligible for restricted free agency next summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Andrew Wiggins Plans To ‘Eventually’ Sign Extension

With the October 16 deadline barely a week away, it’s not clear why Timberwolves star Andrew Wiggins hasn’t signed a five-year, $148MM extension, writes Sam Amick of USA Today.

Minnesota made the offer two months ago in hopes of securing the former No. 1 pick for the long term. Wiggins mysteriously fired agent Bill Duffy of BDA Sports two weeks later when the deal appeared to be complete and has yet to finalize the extension.

“I’m just taking it day by day, you know?” Wiggins said today. “There’s no rush to do it, yet. I’ve still got some time before the day before that first game.”

There appears to be no concern that Wiggins is pondering a future somewhere else, as he has said Minnesota is “definitely where I want to be.” The Timberwolves made serious upgrades to their roster over the offseason and are expected to compete for a playoff spot in the West for the first time since Wiggins joined the team.

Wiggins and the Wolves will wrap up a trip to China with a game against the Warriors on Sunday, and it sounds like he will wait until he returns home before addressing the extension.

“I’m just going to take it day by day,” he said. “There’s no rush to do it. We’re going through preseason and I’m all the way here in China.”

Wolves, Wiggins Expected To Finalize Extension Soon

The Timberwolves and fourth-year forward Andrew Wiggins are expected to finalize a five-year, maximum salary contract extension in the coming days, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). Having spoken to team owner Glen Taylor, Wolfson suggests that the two sides are likely to get the deal done before Minnesota’s first practice on Saturday.

We heard nearly a month ago that Wiggins had decided to part ways with agent Bill Duffy shortly after Duffy had negotiated a potential five-year extension for his client. The deal between Wiggins and the Wolves wasn’t expected to get done until the 22-year-old sorted out new representation, at which point the club’s offer figures to remain on the table. While the exact value of that offer won’t be known until the 2018/19 salary cap is finalized, a maximum deal currently projects to be worth about $148MM, based on the most recent cap estimates.

That would be a significant investment in Wiggins, who has developed into one of the NBA’s most dangerous scorers, but struggled on the defensive side of the ball last season, and doesn’t contribute much in other statistical categories. Wiggins increased his three-point percentage to 35.6% in 2016/17, which was easily a career high, but averaged a modest 4.0 RPG and 2.3 APG.

Taylor has reportedly indicated that he wants to meet with the former No. 1 pick face-to-face before locking in his new deal in order to receive assurances that Wiggins is committed both to the franchise and to improving his all-around game.

Assuming Wiggins and the Wolves finalize an agreement, the next major investment on tap for the franchise would likely come a year from now, when Karl-Anthony Towns will become extension-eligible for the first time.

O’Connor’s Latest: Capela, Smart, Wiggins, Nuggets

Gary Harris (Nuggets), Marcus Smart (Celtics), Jabari Parker (Bucks), and Clint Capela (Rockets) are among the most intriguing players eligible for rookie scale contract extensions this offseason, Kevin O’Connor writes in his latest piece for The Ringer. In addition to going into detail on those four players, who have until October 16 to work out new deals with their respective clubs, O’Connor drops a few other notable tidbits within his article, so let’s round up the highlights…

  • The Rockets and Capela have had “very introductory” discussions on a contract extension, according to O’Connor. Those discussions figure to become more frequent and more in-depth as next month’s extension deadline nears.
  • The general consensus among the league sources O’Connor has talked to is that Smart’s next contract figures to be in the neighborhood of Andre Roberson‘s three-year, $30MM deal, given both players’ defensive prowess and offensive limitations. O’Connor believes the Celtics guard will be able to do better than that though, and I’m inclined to agree. Smart will be a restricted free agent next summer if he’s not extended this offseason.
  • Multiple league sources have told O’Connor that Andrew Wiggins is expected to sign the contract extension offered by the Timberwolves once he gets his new representation in order. Wiggins filed paperwork to part ways with Bill Duffy and BDA Sports shortly after Minnesota put a five-year, maximum salary offer on the table.
  • Multiple sources believe the Nuggets were targeting OG Anunoby in June’s draft when they traded down from No. 13 to No. 24, says O’Connor. Anunoby ended up coming off the board one spot earlier, with Toronto nabbing him at No. 23. Denver used the 24th pick on Tyler Lydon.

Wolves Rumors: FAs, Muhammad, Wiggins, Roth

The Timberwolves are still carrying just 11 players on guaranteed contracts for 2017/18, but head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau expects that number to increase in the near future. As Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune details, Thibodeau and the Wolves plan to add three players on guaranteed minimum contracts, retaining some flexibility with the 15th and final roster spot.

As has been the case for more than a month now, the Wolves intend to add a backup point guard and two wings to their roster. While the market for backup point guards has thinned out considerably, there are still several interesting wings on the market, including Tony Allen, Gerald Green, Anthony Morrow, and Mike Dunleavy.

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • Of course, as Minnesota looks to add a couple wings, Shabazz Muhammad remains an option, if he’s willing to settle for a minimum salary contract, writes Zgoda. “There’s an opportunity here for him,” Thibodeau said of Muhammad. “He has several opportunities to look at.”
  • The process of signing Andrew Wiggins to a contract extension will be delayed by his agent change, but Thibodeau and the Wolves still expect that deal to get done in the “next few weeks,” as Zgoda details.
  • Nemanja Bjelica and Justin Patton continue to recover from foot injuries. According to Zgoda, Thibodeau is hopeful that Bjelica will be ready for training camp and Patton will good to go for the Wolves’ regular season opener.
  • Thibodeau confirmed that the Wolves explored the possibility of acquiring Kyrie Irving from the Cavaliers, per Zgoda. “You have the responsibility to explore every possibility,” Thibodeau said. “If it makes sense for us, we’ll do it. If it doesn’t, we move on. We love the players we have. We know there’s a lot of work to do.”
  • Former Timberwolves player and current scout Scott Roth is set to become the first head coach of the Iowa Wolves, Minnesota’s newly-purchased G League affiliate, according to Zgoda. Roth will be tasked with his helping to develop young players for the Wolves, as well as implementing Thibodeau’s strategic concepts in Iowa.

Northwest Notes: Jokic, Harris, Wiggins

While the addition of Paul Millsap gives the Nuggets a tantalizing frontcourt combination, the team’s duo of Nikola Jokic and Gary Harris was one of the league’s  most gifted offensive pairings last season, Frank Urbina of HoopsHype writes.

While Jokic’s status as one of the league’s most prolific low-post weapons is undisputed, Urbina’s recount demonstrates exactly how the Nuggets center established himself as one of the game’s most efficienct big men.

Harris, who posted a modest but intriguing 14.9 points and 2.9 assists per game last season, has a skill set that compliments Jokic’s particularly well, as evidenced by the fact that the Nuggets boasted the league’s highest offensive rating when the relatively small sample size was prorated over the course of the full season.

For that reason, while the Nuggets will be happy to add a blue chip forward like Millsap, much of the team’s future success will likely come from the talent that they’ve built through the draft.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The fact that Andrew Wiggins recently changed agents won’t impact his extension deal, Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press tweets. CBA rules dictate that Wiggins must wait two weeks to sign the new deal after changing his representation. Some within the Timberwolves organization, Krawczynski adds in a second tweet are ‘puzzled by the timing of the move’.
  • The Trail Blazers have named Jesse Elis their new director of player health and performance, Mike Richman of the Oregonian writes. Elis will replace Chris Stackpole who had held the position for the past four years.
  • The Jazz have appointed Jonathan Rinehart the new team president of their G League affiliate, the Salt Lake City Stars, the team announced in a press release. Rinehart has been with the big league club for the past 12 seasons.

Andrew Wiggins Leaves Agent Who Negotiated Max Deal

Andrew Wiggins has filed paperwork to leave BDA Sports after his agent Bill Duffy negotiated a five-year, maximum salary extension for the Timberwolves‘ budding star, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. That deal, which has not yet been agreed upon, is expected to be worth about $148MM.

Duffy revealed to Wojnarowski that Wiggins filed paperwork to terminate his relationship with BDA Sports as Minnesota sent a contract to both agent and Wiggins. Players are free to leave their agents at any time but guidelines of the National Basketball Players Association are set up to protect agents who negotiated deals for their players while representing them. Duffy indicated that whenever Wiggins puts ink to paper to confirm the deal he negotiated, he will be in touch with the NBPA to protect his interests.

“We are disappointed that Andrew made this decision, especially after a three-year partnership where we worked closely with Andrew and his entire family,” Duffy said to ESPN. “Unfortunately, tampering is a common problem in our industry, and that’s part of the reason why I’ve already been in contact with the NBPA to discuss my rights in this matter. Obviously, whenever Andrew signs the max extension that we negotiated with Minnesota, we will work with the NBPA to make sure that our interests are protected.”

The former first overall pick would become the first player from his 2014 draft class to sign a rookie extension. Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN tweets that Wiggins is likely to sign with a Canadian agent (Wiggins is a native of Toronto, Canada) that works for a major agency in the United States. Once he has new representation, Wiggins’ tentative deal with Minnesota will likely not change, Wolfson adds.

Wiggins, 22, has shown vast improvements in his offensive game in his first three seasons, topping out at 23.6 PPG last season while completing his third straight season of at least 81 games played. Along with Karl-Anthony Towns, the recently acquired Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague, Wiggins is expected to be a vital piece for a potential playoff team.

Wiggins Can Get Max If He’s Loyal To Wolves

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor wants assurances from Andrew Wiggins that he’s committed to the franchise and determined to improve his game before giving the high-scoring forward a max extension, according to Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press.

Taylor wants to receive those pledges in a face-to-face meeting with Wiggins, who averaged 23.6 PPG last season.

Wiggins is still working on his rookie contract and the exact amount of an extension is tied to the 2018/19 salary cap. Based on projections, a five-year, max extension for Wiggins would net him slightly under $148MM, as Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors recently detailed.

Wiggins’ name has popped up in trade rumors regarding Cavaliers disgruntled point guard Kyrie Irving but Taylor insists he won’t give up Wiggins in the team’s efforts to land the All-Star floor leader. The addition of All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler in a blockbuster deal with the Bulls this summer has made the Timberwolves a popular pick as the most improved team next season.

Wiggins can certainly find areas for improvement beyond his scoring average. His 35.6% shooting from long range last season was the best of his 3-year career but far from elite. He could also become a better rebounder (4.0 RPG last season), free throw shooter (76%) and defender, both man-to-man and in takeaways (1.0 SPG).

If Wiggins is maxed out, the Timberwolves will have five players on the current roster making at least $14MM for the 2018/19 season.

Timberwolves Rumors: Wiggins, Thibodeau, FAs

The Timberwolves’ trade offer for Kyrie Irving doesn’t include Andrew Wiggins, and that appears unlikely to change. According to Sid Hartman of The Star Tribune, team owner Glen Taylor has “made it clear” that the club intends to lock up Wiggins to a five-year, max extension in the near future. Hartman adds that the former top pick “is not available to anybody in a trade.”

While that news doesn’t come as a huge surprise, it’s hard to imagine the Wolves being putting together a viable package for Irving without including Wiggins, so Minnesota looks to be a long shot to acquire the Cavaliers’ star point guard.

Here’s more from out of Minnesota:

  • Taylor owns about 70% of the Timberwolves, and while a pair of minority stakeholders are looking to sell their shares in the franchise, that’s not the case for Taylor, as Hartman details. “We have a couple of my limited [owners] that have indicated that they’re going to sell, and we have another limited [owner] that is going to buy them,” Taylor said. “I won’t be selling any of my stock. Whatever I have, I’m keeping.”
  • Although Taylor would have liked to see the Timberwolves play better in 2016/17, he remains confident in Tom Thibodeau‘s long-term vision for the team, per Hartman. “I brought him in here for the long run,” Taylor said of Thibodeau. “We tried it with the young players, and it appears that we need more experience on the team to get where we want to get. [Thibodeau] is flexible and he’s trying his best to bring in the quality guys we need to get to the championship, so I’m happy.”
  • Taylor’s sights for 2017/18 are set higher, according to Hartman. “Well, of course we have to get into the playoffs,” Taylor said. “And where we get into … the playoffs is probably very important for us. To get into fourth place so you have home-court advantage would really be the super position.”
  • The Wolves expect to sign three more players to veteran minimum contracts, according to Taylor, via Hartman. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News indicated earlier this week (via Twitter) that the club had a contract offer out to a shooter.
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