Andrew Wiggins Trade Rumors: Exec Predicts Wolves Get at Least Net-Neutral Value

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2019

DENVER, CO - APRIL 10: Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves stares on before the game against the Denver Nuggets on April 10, 2019 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
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One NBA executive predicted the Minnesota Timberwolves can still receive "net-neutral value" by trading 2014 first overall pick Andrew Wiggins despite his underwhelming career so far.

ESPN's Zach Lowe reported the update Friday and listed the Charlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum or Phoenix Suns' Tyler Johnson as potential cornerstones of a Wiggins deal.

The Cleveland Cavaliers originally selected the University of Kansas product with the No. 1 selection in 2014, but the Cavs traded him to Minnesota before he ever appeared in a game for the franchise as part of a blockbuster deal sending Kevin Love to Cleveland.

Wiggins has displayed the ability to light up the scoreboard at times, averaging 19 points across 400 career games. The downside is he's a volume scorer, shooting 44 percent from the field and 33.2 percent on threes, and he brings little else to the table at either end of the floor.

The 24-year-old Toronto native ranked 86th among 91 qualified small forwards in ESPN's Defensive Real Plus-Minus during the 2018-19 campaign.

His skill set makes him more of an offensive sparkplug off the bench than a high-end franchise building block, but he's not paid that way. He's got four seasons left on a five-year, $147.7 million contract he signed with the Wolves in October 2017.

In May, Wiggins said he was "confident" he'd bounce back next season and expected the Timberwolves' core to remain in place for awhile.

"I feel like the young guys are what the organization looks like going forward. I feel like we're going to be here for a while," he told reporters. "They're taking the time and investing in us with the time and effort, bringing us here, showing us what they want us to do, I think it's going to go a long way."

Wiggins' contract paired with lackluster all-around production makes it likely he'll stay with Minnesota. But if the Wolves do receive a break-even trade offer, they'll likely jump at the opportunity to move him.