Minnesota Timberwolves

Timberwolves owner willing to go max on Wiggins, but first wants a face-to-face

MANKATO — Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Monday that he is ready to commit nearly $150 million to Andrew Wiggins with a max-level extension of his rookie contract.

Before he does so, however, Taylor wants to sit down face-to-face with Wiggins to hear the former No. 1 overall pick commit to the franchise in a similar fashion.

Wiggins’ scoring numbers have improved in each of his first three seasons. He averaged 23.6 points a game and shot 35.6 percent from three-point range last season, more than 5 percent better than his previous season. But the Wolves have not made the playoffs since 2004, and it’s clear that when Taylor decides to give a contract of this magnitude after adding Jimmy Butler via trade and veterans Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford in free agency, he is expecting it to pay off quickly.

“To me, by making this offer, I’m speculating that his contribution to the team will be more in the future,” Taylor told the Associated Press. “We’ve got to be better. He can’t be paid just for what he’s doing today. He’s got to be better.

Glen Taylor, owner, of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Glen Taylor, owner, of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

“So when you’re talking about negotiations on his part, I’m already extending to him that I’m willing to meet the max. But there are some things that I need out of him, and that is the commitment to be a better player than you are today.”

Taylor spoke with Wiggins when the two attended assistant coach Ryan Saunders’ wedding in July, but the owner is looking for a little more substance before they close the deal. Wiggins’ agent, Billy Duffy of BDA Sports, is expected to arrive in town next week to continue the discussions, and a five-year, $148 million extension could happen soon after.

Taylor said he wants to hear a commitment from Wiggins to work out often in the Twin Cities in the summer and improve all areas of his game to fulfill the obligations that come with a max deal.

“I just think it’s important,” Taylor said. “If a guy is a real star and he really cares about it, which I think he does, I think it’s a commitment. I’m not sure that he wouldn’t do it, anyway, but I think that’s part of the negotiations.”

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