Wiggins for Irving is more complicated than it looks

Irving is the more polished player, but the Wolves have to think long-term on this one.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

If the Wolves don't offer the Cavaliers Andrew Wiggins, they won't get Kyrie Irving. "It's that simple," the Associated Press' Jon Krawczynski told KFAN Monday. 

Which leads to this question: 

Would Minnesota rather sign Wiggins to a five-year extension now, locking him up through the 2022-23 season? Or move Wiggins for Irving and risk losing Irving after two years when he's due to hit the open market in the summer of 2019?

Wolves owner Glen Taylor confirmed last week that they're in the early stages of negotiating a five-year max extension with Wiggins, and that they want to keep him.

Things to consider

  1. Is Wiggins for five years more valuable than Irving for two years?
  2. Are the Wolves confident they'd be able to re-sign Irving in 2019?
  3. Does a lineup featuring Irving, Jeff Teague and Jimmy Butler create a defensive issue too big to overcome?
  4. Will Butler's presence help turn Wiggins into the defensive stopper so many believe he's capable of becoming?
  5. Do the Wolves think Wiggins will blossom now that he'll be able to play shooting guard instead of being outmuscled at small forward?
  6. What does franchise cornerstone Karl-Anthony Towns think? What does Butler prefer?

Wiggins doesn't turn 27 years old – which is the prime age for NBA players – until 2022. 

David Aldridge weighs in

Every now and again I send NBA.com's David Aldridge an email with the hopes of him answering my Timberwolves question in his weekly Monday Morning Tip

It finally happened this week when I asked him how cruel it would be for the Wolves to trade Teague when they're contractually allowed to beginning Dec. 15. Think about it: Minnesota could trade Wiggins for Irving now, test the lineup of Teague-Irving-Butler and then trade Teague in December if the lineup proves to be a defensive issue. 

Basically, Aldridge suggests that Wiggins for Irving makes sense because it would give the Wolves a better chance to keep a core of Irving, Butler and Towns for the long-term. 

In Aldridge's mind, the second scenario below makes more sense from a financial standpoint. 

Scenario No. 1: 

  1. Sign Wiggins to a max deal now.
  2. Sign Irving and/or Butler to an extension(s) in the summer of 2019. 
  3. Sign Towns to a designated rookie max deal in the summer of 2019. 

Scenario No. 2: 

  1. Trade Wiggins for Irving now. 
  2. Sign Irving and Butler to extensions in the summer of 2019. 
  3. Sign Towns to a designated rookie max deal in the summer of 2019. 

The decisions will get a lot easier for president/coach Tom Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden if the Suns or Celtics swoop in and trade for Irving. 

Krawczynski is on record saying the Suns could offer a package of Eric Bledsoe, Josh Jackson and draft picks for Irving, while the Celtics might consider sending Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and a pick to Cleveland. 

Next Up

Cameron Champ

Final round helps Cameron Champ win 3M Open

Champ picked up his third career victory on Sunday afternoon.

Screen Shot 2021-07-25 at 1.08.41 PM

Clinton elevator fire prompts evacuation in western Minnesota

A massive blaze could be seen from far away Sunday.

Bob Motzko

Mack Motzko, son of Gophers coach Bob Motzko, dies in car crash

The crash happened late Saturday night in Orono.

police tape

Victims of triple homicide near La Crosse identified as young men

The victims are ages 24, 24 and 23, respectively.

Screen Shot 2021-07-25 at 7.26.01 AM

Dive team finds body of missing 13-year-old girl in Chanhassen lake

The girl had last been seen on a float on Lake Minnewashta.

Fairmont Raceway

MN race track under fire after announcer's racist remarks

The Fairmont Raceway voiced support for the announcer on social media.

Grayson Murray

Grayson Murray criticizes PGA Tour after pulling out of 3M Open

After withdrawing with a knee injury, Murray unloaded on his Twitter account.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Minneapolis residents will vote on replacing MPD with new public safety department

The Minneapolis City Council approved language for the ballot question Friday.

Related

Report: Wolves make official offer for Kyrie Irving

The Wolves were named with six other teams to have submitted an offer.

Bulls reporters think Butler, Irving, and a 3rd star will join forces

Another insider thinks Butler will be teaming up with Irving.

Report: Towns, Butler pressuring Thibs to trade for Irving

Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland and two of Minnesota's stars want him here.

Wiggins in search of 'nothing less' than $25 million a season

Wiggins is going to get a max deal one way or another.

Wolves, Wiggins negotiating max extension

If the Wolves don't ink Wiggins to a max deal now they could lose him in free agency next summer.

OKC or MN in the division? Look at the reshaped, loaded Western Conference

Think again if you think the Wolves will march from 31 wins to a top four seed in the loaded West.

OKC or MN in the division? Look at the reshaped, loaded Western Conference

Think again if you think the Wolves will march from 31 wins to a top four seed in the loaded West.