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Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor is not ready to give up on small forward Andrew Wiggins despite rumors circulating the franchise could move the swingman this summer.
Appearing on ESPN 1500 with Darren Wolfson, Taylor says you have to be careful when you’re dealing with a young player such as Wiggins, who is still developing his game and maturing on and off the court.
“I just think you want to take a person and not give up on them when they’re that young, no matter what,” Taylor said. “I just think you have to be really careful not to give up on him.”
When Wiggins re-signed with the Timberwolves in the summer of 2017 on a five-year deal worth in excess of $146 million, he was hoping to be the face of the franchise for years to come and the primary option on offense.
Wiggins, 23, is an athletic specimen. He can jump out the gym, get to the rim at will and finish in heavy traffic. The former No. 1 overall pick views himself as a number one scoring option, but he won’t get that title or volume of shot attempts with the Wolves as long as Jimmy Butler and Karl–Anthony Towns are on the roster.
After averaging a career-high 23.6 points per game during the 2016-17 season, Wiggins’ scoring output dropped to 17.7 this past season with the addition of Butler and the emergence of Towns as a superstar big man.
There were many instances this year where it looked like Wiggins was going through the motions and not fully engaged on the court, and despite the Wolves making the playoffs for the first time in 14 years in a rugged Western Conference, Butler and head coach Tom Thibodeau reportedly had problems with Wiggins and his work ethic.
Taylor is hoping that Wiggins will be better next season after learning from his past mistakes and use the playoff experience to build his confidence.
“You can look at a lot of players and it took them three or four years to get better,” Taylor said. “And they keep getting better from the experience and the confidence. I don’t see why Andrew won’t be one of those people because he has such natural ability. I think the adjustment with Jimmy coming in has taken a little time, but certainly someone of his caliber can make those adjustments and play better. I know that’s Andrew’s goal too, so we’ll see what he does this summer.”