All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving sent shockwaves throughout the National Basketball Association last month when news leaked that he wanted a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The story gained even more steam when one of Irving’s preferred destinations was reported to be the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Timberwolves had a busy summer even before the Irving news surfaced.
The team acquired All-Star Jimmy Butler via trade and also signed former All-Star guard Jeff Teague in free agency. If Irving were to be dealt to the Timberwolves, the logical pieces involved would be Teague and emerging swingman Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins was originally selected by the Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2014 draft, but he was subsequently dealt before playing a regular season game with the franchise, as Cleveland acquired forward Kevin Love in return.
Irving is now off the board.
The Cavaliers shipped him to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Brooklyn’s 2018 unprotected first round pick and Ante Zizic.
While a Wiggins return to Cleveland storyline didn’t materialize, the Timberwolves are reportedly ready to lock Wiggins in to a long term deal. There is reportedly a five-year $148 million extension ready for Wiggins to add his autograph to, if he so pleases.
But this development doesn’t come without a bit of its own drama. According to an ESPN report, Wiggins has completely severed ties with his agent Bill Duffy, chairman of BDA Sports, who helped negotiate the new deal.
According to Duffy, Wiggins filed paperwork with the National Basketball Players Association on Tuesday to terminate his relationship with BDA Sports after Minnesota sent a contract for a max deal.
Duffy has been one of the league’s most successful player agents over the past two decades, representing players such as Steve Nash and Yao Ming. Duffy alluded to tampering running rampant in agent circles according to reports.
“We are disappointed that Andrew made this decision, especially after a three-year partnership where we worked closely with Andrew and his entire family,” Duffy told ESPN. “Unfortunately, tampering is a common problem in our industry, and that’s part of the reason why I’ve already been in contact with the NBPA to discuss my rights in this matter. Obviously, whenever Andrew signs the max extension that we negotiated with Minnesota, we will work with the NBPA to make sure that our interests are protected.”
According to reports, Wiggins has yet to sign the deal with the news of Duffy’s firing. But the NBPA has rules that protects agents in a situation like this.
When Wiggins eventually signs the new deal he will become the Timberwolves highest paid player and the first from the class of 2014 to agree to a rookie contract extension (assuming no deals until that time). Through three seasons, Wiggins has posted averages of 20.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists on 45 percent shooting from the floor. He’s also only 22 years old and has just missed one game since entering the league.
Notable players from the 2014 draft up that could be in line for an early rookie contract extension include Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris and Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine.
As a reminder, class of 2014 members are eligible to sign extensions through late October 2017.
The 2017-18 campaign will be Wiggins’ fourth in the league.
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