The Minnesota Timberwolves signed former top overall pick Andrew Wiggins to a max contract a few months ago, but just a couple months before they made the trade to get All-Star guard Jimmy Butler, head coach Thom Thibodeau was actually open to moving Wiggins instead of the high-flying Zach LaVine.
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities broke it all down in his podcast, and a short snippet of it is played below.
“I’m lead to believe that believe that Thibs had a somewhat open mind on moving Wiggins to Chicago, but Glen Taylor stepped in almost immediately and said no, Andrew is staying. They told Chicago within the first ten minutes of talk that Wiggins is off the table.”
Wolfson also made a really interesting point about why Wiggins was actually off the table that time and it all came down to short-term success. The Timberwolves haven’t played a playoff game in 13 seasons, and owner Glen Taylor wanted that drought to end this year.
“Now maybe it’s too much short-term thinking, but they really wanted to make the playoffs and Zach LaVine wasn’t ready to come back until a couple of weeks ago.”
Now if Thibodeau really did believe that LaVine was indeed the better long-term player, and Glen Taylor decided to keep Wiggins instead of LaVine to make the playoffs for this year, that sounds like a really bad tradeoff for a team that isn’t going to win the title now even with Wiggins on the team.
They should still make the playoffs, but even that is in jeopardy with how well the rest of the Western Conference is playing.
They currently sit in the sixth playoff spot but are only two games ahead of the Nuggets who lurk in the ninth spot in the Western Conference.
Since Jimmy Butler went down the Timberwolves have struggled, and Andrew Wiggins hasn’t stepped up to give the team the leadership they need from a guy playing under a max contract.