It was less than a calendar year ago that Andrew Wiggins was considered a building block for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Fresh of a summer in which Minnesota added Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson to the mix, the team handed Wiggins a five-year, $146.5 million extension last October. It has not gone too swimmingly for either side.
Minnesota may have made the playoffs after a 13-year hiatus, but Wiggins himself regressed a great deal. He saw his scoring drop from 23.6 points per game in 2016-17 to under 18 per last season. Meanwhile, the 23-year-old wing’s field goal percentage and efficiancy dropped from the previous season. He’s also among the worst perimeter defenders in the game.
Now, according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, there could potentially be a split growing between Wiggins and the above-mentioned Butler. Namely, Butler himself not necessarily being a big fan of Wiggins and his game.
“Sources familiar with the situation told Sporting News that Butler is uncertain about playing with Wiggins — Butler had problems last season with Wiggins, his work ethic and his approach on the defensive end of the floor,” Deveney reported.
The report went on to note that Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau has also had like issues with Wiggins, especially on the defensive end of the court.
This split represents a major point of contention heading into the offseason. Butler himself is entering a contract year and is unlikely to sign an extension with Minnesota this summer. After throwing that absurd contract Wiggins’ way back in October, it’s unlikely the Wolves will be able to move him in a trade. That’s magnified by his poor 2017-18 performance.
All the while, rumors are persisting that Minnesota may look to trade star big man Karl-Anthony Towns. That’s a lot of questions for a team coming off a 47-win campaign.