Andrew Wiggins' 5-Year, $148M Contract Extension Reportedly to Be Finished Soon

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2017

Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins plays during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards Monday, March 13, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Andrew Wiggins are nearing an agreement on a five-year extension worth $148 million, 1500 ESPN's Darren Wolfson reported Monday.

According to Wolfson, team owner Glen Taylor expects the deal to be finalized before the team's first practice Saturday.

Taylor made it clear in August he was prepared to make a big commitment to Wiggins but that he wanted to see the 22-year-old continue to improve to justify his massive pay raise, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com):

"To me, by making this offer, I'm speculating that his contribution to the team will be more in the future. We've got to be better. He can't be paid just for what he's doing today. He's got to be better. So when you're talking about negotiations on his part, I'm already extending to him that I'm willing to meet the max. But there are some things that I need out of him, and that is the commitment to be a better player than you are today."

ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Wiggins changed his representation after his agent, Bill Duffy, negotiated the five-year max extension. While that may have delayed a final agreement between the involved parties, it doesn't appear to have derailed things too much.

Re-signing Wiggins is the obvious decision for Minnesota. He figures to be a big part of the team's future, and replacing him with a similarly talented player would've been extremely difficult.

At the same time, giving Wiggins a max deal carries some risk for the Timberwolves. While his per-game scoring average improved from 20.7 in 2015-16 to 23.6 in 2016-17, that was largely a result of his increased playing time. According to Basketball Reference, the fourth-year forward averaged 22.8 points per 36 minutes a year ago compared to 21.2 points per 36 minutes in 2016-17.

Wiggins hasn't been the kind of perimeter defender some expected him to become when he left Kansas after his first year. The Timberwolves allowed 5.6 fewer points per 100 possessions when he was off the floor, according to NBA.com. He also allowed opponents to shoot 49.0 percent from the field and 37.8 percent from beyond the arc, per NBA.com.

With his new contract will come increased expectations for Wiggins. While he has shown plenty of potential through his first three years, Timberwolves fans will likely hope he emerges as an All-Star-caliber talent over the next few seasons.