The Minnesota Timberwolves made one of the offseason’s biggest moves by trading for Jimmy Butler, and Andrew Wiggins is optimistic about their tandem.
On draft night, the Timberwolves fleeced the Chicago Bulls by exchanging Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and the rights to their seventh overall pick, which became center Lauri Markkanen. Minnesota is going to pair Wiggins and Butler on the perimeter and, despite having similar styles, the former Kansas standout isn’t worried about sharing time.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver, Wiggins believes the two will “complement each other’s game and make each other better.”
Not too long ago, I wrote about how Minnesota’s biggest hurdle is going to be finding ways to having the duo co-exist, especially since the Wolves are in talks with Wiggins about giving him a max contract. He shot a career-best 35.6 percent from three last season, a 5.6 point increase from year two. That’s huge for opening up the floor for Butler (and himself), who shot 36.7 percent from three.
Minnesota’s offense is going to be just fine, but defense is where we need to ask more questions. With Butler in the mix, Wiggins expects everyone to have a different mindset heading into this campaign:
“We’re big. We play a lot of different positions. Weaknesses? You can say we haven’t played together yet. On defense, [you find success] when you’re ready to give in, when you’re ready to sacrifice yourself. Everyone can play defense. If you’re athletic and you can run, you can play defense. It’s a mindset. I think we were just a young team last year. We took breaks. We had good games where we played great defense and we had other games where we didn’t know what was happening.”
In Wiggins’ three seasons, the Timberwolves have ranked 30th, 28th and 27th, respectively, in defensive efficiency. It’s one of the only things holding them back. They already have the talent to battle for a low-to-middle playoff seed, but the cohesion needed to stop opponents from scoring is necessary.
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