After finishing 31-51, and losing 6 games in a row to finish the season, Andrew Wiggins and the young Timberpups were left to lick their wounds in the offseason….Only to emerge winners in the off season, by strengthening the pack with more — capable members.
Minnesota acquired 3x Allstar Jimmy Butler in June, then traded their long time — yet one dimensional starter, Ricky Rubio for Jeff Teague. Then, rounded off their offseason with depth, adding Taj Gibson, and Jamal Crawford. The Timberwolves finally have what they haven’t had in well over a decade — a balanced, playoff caliber roster.
On paper the 2017-18 rosters seems so much better than the 2003-04 squad, that lost in the Western Conference finals , the last year Minnesota made the playoffs.
So far and rightfully so, all eyes are currently on new kid on the block Jimmy Butler with Karl Anthony- Towns in their peripherals. Then you have those few that are peaking at their phones to catch a glimpse of any and every leaked picture of the new uni’s. What’s getting lost in the shuffle is Andrew Wiggins, the 2014-15 Rookie of the Year.
Last season the 6’8 swingman put up his best mark in points in his burgeoning career (23.6), but left a few categories to be desired. Wiggins rebounding numbers (4.0), field goal percentage (45%), and assist numbers (2.3) were as low, and disappointing as the T-Wolves record.
With the Wolves trying to find chemistry and work through growing pains last season, Andrew was trying to find himself like the rest of the roster. Also, getting used to Coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do either.
What’s the next step for young Andrew? Some media pundits (including myself), predicted Wiggins to be Tracy McGrady 2.0 when he was drafted back in 2014. For starters, for his size one would expect more than 4 rebounds to be pulled down. At least 6 or 7 per game. AT LEAST. At least 4 assist per game, and 50% from the field would not only make Wiggins a real all around threat, but would make the T-Wolves a force for years to come in the Western Conference. At just 21 years old he still has plenty of time to live up to those lofty expectations.
The Warriors won’t rule forever
As I’ve stated before, the NBA is in good hands, and there are some young and talented squads who will entertain us all long after the Warriors reign is over. Not only do I expect the Minnesota Timberwolves to be one of those teams, Andrew Wiggins, barring injury, has no excuse not to be an MVP candidate in his prime years. Unless of course, he’s more Lamar Odom than Tracy McGrady. Meaning, he’s content being the third or fourth option, even on a talented team.
Imagine Andrew with a Kobe-esq killer instinct. He’d be virtually unguardable. There would be no double teaming anyone in that starting line up.
Think about it. The Warriors have a 3 year window, and LeBron is currently 32. The league is about to be up for grabs, and a young squad with time to grow together, can dominate for a number of years; barring injuries and contract situations. Will Andrew and the Wolves conquer, or be another what if story?