(Photo: Zhong Zhi, Getty Images)
(Due to the NBA season starting yesterday we took a one day pause on 100 Days of Hoops but we are back)
Fresh off of signing a new five-year $148 million contract extension before the Oct. 16 deadline to stay with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the expectations are now for Andrew Wiggins to live up to his potential and the money owed to him.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft has always had high expectations since before his lone season at the University of Kansas under head coach Bill Self.
Hype has followed Wiggins ever since he was an 18-year-old from Thornhill, outside Toronto, who played for Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, was the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2013.
In Oct. 2013 Sports Illustrated published a piece on Wiggins titled “The Freshman” describing the excitement surrounding the incoming freshman.
ON MAY 18, FOUR DAYS AFTER A CERTAIN Ontario boy signed with Kansas, coach Bill Self attended his daughter Lauren’s graduation from KU’s school of education. The ceremony was held in Allen Fieldhouse, and the dean, Rick Ginsberg, had asked the 2013 grads to submit, on index cards, their most embarrassing moments and greatest regrets. Among the statements he mentioned was, “Not being around to see Andrew Wiggins play for the Jayhawks.”
Three years later Wiggins has yet to fully live up to the expectations and potential that have surrounded him since he entered the NBA. With the acquisition of All-Star Jimmy Butler last offseason, many believe that this is the year that the Timberwolves will snap their 13-year playoff drought. Nobody has ever doubted the talent or potential of Wiggins but many still question his drive, motivation, and wonder makes him tick.
TNT NBA reporter David Aldridge joined Bleacher Report Senior writer Howard Beck on his “The Full 48” podcast to discuss some topics prior to the start of the 2017-18 NBA season. They discussed various teams including Wiggins and the Timberwolves.
“The only thing I wonder about Minnesota is [Andrew] Wiggins because I don’t know Andrew Wiggins at all” said Aldridge. “I don’t know that many people do. He has never shared a minute of introspection with me as a person. I have no idea what motivates him, what he loves and hates, and is afraid of, so how will he handle not being the guy? I don’t know that he ever cares about it. He might not even care about it now that [Jimmy] Butler is there but I don’t know that he doesn’t care about it. Until I can find out how that works, I think Minnesota has to be a question mark.
Later in the podcast, the topic of team or player they are most curious about was discussed. Aldridge once again went with the team in Minneapolis.
“How does Andrew Wiggins handle Jimmy Butler?” “Jimmy Butler is a a guy [and he should, I don’t think he’s wrong] that believes in Jimmy Butler” said Aldridge. “I’m just wondering how that’s going to play in that group.”
Now that Wiggins has gotten paid, the expectations high for the upcoming season, and a bonafide All-Star to relay the message from head coach Tom Thibodeau to the rest of the roster in Butler, the Timberwolves are expected to make the jump back into the playoffs.
If it isn’t money, desire to be the best, then what drives Wiggins? He will have an 82-game season and hopefully the playoffs to show us. Tune in to ESPN tonight as the Timberwolves begin their season by visiting the San Antonio Spurs.