Andrew Wiggins will be a member of the Wolves for the foreseeable future after signing a multi-year contract extension with the team on Wednesday.
“I’m just thankful. Thankful for Glen (Taylor), Coach Thibs, Scott (Layden) and all the fans and the Timberwolves organization to make this possible,” Wiggins said at a press conference on Wednesday. “I’ve been working for this my whole life. And for it to finally happen, the long-term deal, the commitment, I’m just ready to get it all started.”
When it comes to young talent in the NBA, Wiggins is in the top tier. He’s 22 years old, which seems wild. It feels like he’s been in the NBA forever. But it’s only been three years, and he’s progressed each season.
In his Rookie of the Year campaign, Wiggins averaged 16.9 points per game. In his second season, that jumped to 20.7 points per game. And last season, that jumped to 23.6 points per contest to go along with career highs of 35.6 percent from the 3-point line and 2.3 assists.
This extension is both a reward for what Wiggins has already accomplished and his potential for the rest of his career.
“That’s really what got him the contract,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Not to get lost in anything other than excellence. Just keep working like he’s been working, put the team first. He’s never satisfied. He wants to better. I think he’s demonstrated that. . . It’s scratching the surface.”
Wiggins is nowhere near the prime of his career yet, which is extremely scary to think of for opposing defenders.
Thibodeau helped mold Wolves wing Jimmy Butler into the player he is today. The hope is that Thibodeau, along with natural progression, can help shape Wiggins into that type of all-around player.
For what it’s worth, Wiggins is 22 right now. When Butler was 22 he was a rookie and averaged 2.6 points per game in 42 games.
A few Wiggins tidbits:
- Only 37 players in league history have scored more points in their first three seasons in the league than Wiggins’ 4,995.
- Of players 21 years or younger, only three players have score more points than Wiggins. Those players are LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony.
- Wiggins has scored 35 or more points 10 times in his young career. Only 20 players have done that more times at age 22 or younger.
Wiggins, the 2014 No. 1 overall pick, came to the Wolves via trade in 2014 after the late Flip Saunders made a move the basketball world applauded, trading Kevin Love to acquire Wiggins, a player many thought the Cavs wouldn’t part with.
He joins Karl-Anthony Towns and Butler as the faces of the franchise – a franchise hoping to make the postseason for the first time since 2003-04.