While the NBA’s version of the Final Four battle it out in their respective Conference Finals’ matchup, the Association’s other twenty-six franchises are on to the next one.
In case you forgot, the 2017 offseason was one of the craziest in its history. The plethora of blockbuster trades involving the likes of Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas, Jimmy Butler (sup?), Chris Paul and others drastically altered the NBA’s landscape.
The euphoria of the Jimmy Buckets acquisition seems extremely difficult to match. For the magnitude of any of this offseason’s fireworks to remotely compare to 2017’s proverbial pyrotechnics, Andrew Wiggins would have to be involved in a MASSIVE deal:
Although the Bill Simmons’ created website wants to see Wiggins dealt, I’m extremely torn on the topic.
First off, it’s important to remember that Maple Jordan is a mere 23 years-old. The man who isn’t even near his prime posted 23.6 PPG (45.2 FG%) during the 2016-17 season. His offensive talents are off the charts.
Throw the damn towel man, Andrew Wiggins posterizes Jakob Poeltl for the second time in the same half. ? pic.twitter.com/eZzgNSNX23
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) January 21, 2018
On the flip side, when breaking down his 2017-18 statistical drop-off, only some of Wiggins decreased numbers make sense. It doesn’t take a basketball guru to comprehend that Jimmy Butler is going to attempt more FGs than the likes of Brandon Rush. While the difference in teammates helps explain the drop in production by 5.9 points per game, it certainly doesn’t justify his decrease in player efficiency rating.
- 2015-16 PER: 16.5
- 2016-17 PER: 16.5
- 2017-18 PER: 13.0
Second of all, my willingness to appreciate an Andrew Wiggins trade, (obviously) depends on who the Timberwolves would receive in return. For example: If a hypothetical transaction involves receiving the likes of Andre Drummond or Hassan Whiteside, I’ll tweak. Spazz City.
To me, a proposed formula that Minnesota improves by trading for one of these two doesn’t equate. If you want to do the New Orleans style dual big man thing, both need the ability to shoot with range. While Drummond and Whiteside are studs defensively, I’m not sure either knows how to perform a jump shot, let alone make one.
Now that the “ I can’t hit a free-throw crew” has been addressed, here are some other names to keep an eye on:
After a soap opera worthy ’17-’18 campaign with the Spurs, Leonard “wants out” of San Antonio.
While the potential of acquiring the 2x Defensive Player of the Year for a Wiggins package may seem ideal, unless you’re the Lakers, trading for The Klaw puts to many eggs in next season’s basket:
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) May 11, 2018
OMG it’s Kawhi in a gold and purple Klaw hat at a dodgers game. Let’s freak out about it at 4pm!! pic.twitter.com/yMM1qAbPnB
— Rudy Jay (@RudyJay760) May 11, 2018
As much as I adore the artist known as The Klaw’s game, parting ways with Wiggins (and more) for the 2019 Free Agent (who is a Los Angeles native) seems extremely shortsighted.
The 28 year-old DeMar Derozan has spent his entire career in Toronto. After the Raptors once again got Lebron’d out of the playoffs, his name is being aggressively involved in trade rumors. With Wiggins being a native of Canada, the swap (plus a Wolves’ pick or two) comes off to some as ideal:
Andrew Wiggins (3rd year stats) – 23.6 ppg, 2.3 apg, 4.0 rpg, 45% FG, 36% 3FG
DeMar DeRozan (9th year stats) – 23.0 ppg, 5.2 apg, 3.9 rpg, 46% FG, 31% 3FG
Yet Raptors fans on here wouldn’t trade DeRozan for Wiggins LMFAOOOOO
— saw IW 9x ? (@DeMidRange) May 12, 2018
I’m of the adage that unless it’s basically straight up, you pass on this veteran. In addition to his putrid three-point percentage, the USC product’s defense has been referred to as “porous.” Andrew Wiggins’ ceiling towers over DeRozan’s already-reached peak.
DeRozan’s backcourt teammate? No, no, no, no. They can keep the 32 year-old. When you parlay Lowry’s age, with his plummeting 2017-18 stats, it’s not pretty.
Honestly, I thought he was about to take up accounting:
This man looks like he wants to change careers right now and I dont blame him for a damn second pic.twitter.com/1FmUGNFA7P
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) May 6, 2018
Pipe dream, right? I’m not so sure about that. Check out this quote from ESPN’s Zach Lowe:
Surprisingly, the 2016-17 NBA MVP is already 29 years old. In addition to Westbrook’s age, Paul George is expected to leave OKC to join the Lakers. As the end of Russ’ prime inches closer and closer, the logic behind the Thunder calling for a complete rebuild begins to make more and more sense.
I’m not alone in this mindset:
Please trade Westbrook to the @Timberwolves for Tyus Stones, Andrew Wiggins and a first round pick.
A concerned fan
— Sam Lindgren (@stlindgren) May 9, 2018
The Timberwolves have to (at least) make a phone call, right? The Suns probably will, right?
Assuming the Thunder front office laughs at a Wiggins, Jones, and first round pick proposal, the Wolves have more to offer (Dieng, Teague, Patton, other picks, etc.). Mix that shit up. Get
passive aggressively aggressive. If it helps, include my soul in the negotiations. Screw it.
We’re talking about Russell f*cken Westbrook.
When it’s all said and done, I’m certainly not holding my breathe on the 7x All Star making Minnesota his new home. However, if it happened, these two would probably want to ride this Minnesota Timberwolf thing out:
The instability REALLY makes me nervous when both KAT and Butler have extensions in the table…. https://t.co/5H5wHooXHc
— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) May 12, 2018