The Minnesota Timberwolves are enjoying one of their best seasons in years.
After a summer of big changes, the team was expected to perform at an elite level. At least so far, they’ve managed to live up to those expectations. And with a core of Karl Anthony-Towns, Jimmy Butler, and Andrew Wiggins, not only are they primed to do well this season, but they’re also built for the next several seasons to come.
Strangely enough, however, a new report by Darren Wolfson of ESPN details how Minny’s core of young stars was almost broken up last summer.
“I’m told, I’m lead to believe, Thibs had a somewhat open mind on moving Wiggins to Chicago. But yes, Glen Taylor stepped in almost immediately and said ‘No, Andrew is staying.’ They told Chicago within the first 10 minutes of talks, 15 minutes of talks — Glen Taylor said this on the Scoop podcast — they told Chicago right away Andrew Wiggins is off the table…”
Fortunately, the Wolves were still able to steal Butler, even without trading away Andrew Wiggins. So, maybe Glen Taylor (the Wolves’ owner) was right to step in when he did. But what does it mean that the 23-year-old forward is at least somewhat expendable in Thibs mind?
.@DWolfsonKSTP: Tom Thibodeau was open to trading Andrew Wiggins last summer, but Glen Taylor stepped in and vetoed the idea.
— 1500 ESPN (@1500ESPN) March 8, 2018
This season, Wiggins is averaging 17.9 points per game on 44% shooting while grabbing a modest 4.2 rebounds. Those numbers aren’t abysmal by any standards, though some would argue they are lower than expected for the hype surrounding Wiggins in the 2014 draft. Trading him may have allowed Minnesota to acquire an even better deal for Butler, or could have unlocked the potential in one of the Wolves’ other younger players. Then again, it might’ve proved to be a colossal mistake.
In any case, we’ll never know what might’ve happened had the Timberwolves dealt Wiggins to Chicago (or anywhere else for that matter). And the fact that not everyone was opposed to actually sending him packing does say something about the future availability of the Canadian star. Still, judging by how things are currently, it’s safe to assume (for now) that they would’ve been worse off had they pulled the trigger on that one.