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Wolves exercise 2016-17 options for Wiggins, LaVine and 3 others

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The Minnesota Timberwolves would like to keep their young core of players together as long as they can.

The team announced Wednesday they have exercised the third-year options on guard Zach LaVine, forward Adreian Payne and forward Andrew Wiggins, along with the fourth-year options on center Gorgui Dieng and forward Shabazz Muhammad.

The moves keep the group of talented young Wolves together through at least the 2016-17 season.

Wiggins, 20, was the 2015 KIA NBA Rookie of the Year. He averaged 16.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for the Wolves last season. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and was acquired by the Wolves as part of the Kevin Love trade.

LaVine, 20, averaged 10.1 points and 3.6 assists per game over 77 games during his rookie season last year. He was named to the 2014-15 All-Rookie Second Team.

Payne, 24, averaged 6.7 points and 5.1 rebounds in 32 games last year. The Wolves acquired Payne in a trade with Atlanta.

The Wolves also extended the fourth year options for Dieng and Muhammad. Dieng, 25, averaged 7.5 points and 6.8 rebounds over 133 career games all with the Wolves. Muhammad, 22, averaged 8.7 points in 75 career games, including 13.5 points last season.

According to the Star Tribune, Wiggins will earn $6 million in 2016-17, Muhammad a little more than $3 million, Dieng $2.3 million, LaVine $2.2 million and Payne a little more than $2 million.

If the Wolves hadn't exercised the team option before next week, all five would become free agents after this season.

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