The 22-year-old forward told Sports Illustrated‘s Ben Golliver on Thursday that he feels he’s “definitely” worth a max contract and “nothing less.” Golliver noted a max salary for Wiggins could be worth $25.5 million in the first year and a total of $148 million over five years.
Wiggins’ contract is part of the reason the Timberwolves needed to make their big outside expenditures this summer, when they had a lot of salary-cap flexibility. Minnesota was able to acquire Jimmy Butler and sign Jeff Teague without having to move a lot of pieces around.
Starting next summer, that flexibility starts disappearing. Wiggins can be a restricted free agent in 2018, and Karl-Anthony Towns will hit restricted free agency in 2019.
While he hasn’t made the impact some expected him to when he was coming out of college, Wiggins’ desire for a max salary is more than reasonable assuming he stays healthy in 2017-18.
He averaged a career-high 23.6 points and shot a career-best 35.6 percent from beyond the arc last season. Wiggins struggled on the defensive end, though, with the Timberwolves allowing 5.6 more points per 100 possessions when he was on the floor, per NBA.com.
Whether the offer comes from Minnesota or another team, Wiggins should have little trouble receiving a max contract when the time comes.
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