Minnesota Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins has made it clear that he wants a max contract from the team and team owner Glen Taylor heard him loud and clear.
Taylor said Monday that he is ready to commit nearly $150 million to Wiggins with a max-level extension of his rookie contract but doing so comes with a caveat.
Taylor wants a face-to-face meeting with Wiggins first and wants the same level of commitment from the 22-year old.
“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.
Wiggins has improved each of his three seasons in the NBA and the Wolves have made major improvement this offseason with the additions of Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford in free agency.
“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.”
The commitment to staying in Minnesota long-term is important to Taylor, especially with today’s NBA climate of players jumping ship to form alliances with other superstar players.
“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.”
And that commitment from Wiggins, a rising stat, is very important to Taylor as the two sides move forward.
“I think it’s important. I don’t know what else you can do but look at the person face-to-face and trust that he will follow through,” Taylor said about the importance of a verbal commitment in a face-to-face meeting.
“He seems like a very good person. He seems to have the ability, and so the only thing it would be is for some reason he didn’t work hard enough to obtain the skill sets. That’s what you’re asking him to commit to.”
Along with Karl-Anthony Towns, Taylor knows that the Wolves have a rare opportunity to build something special and doesn’t want that opportunity to go to waste.
“I just think they appear to have exceptional skills,” Taylor explained.
“You don’t have chances to get players like that very often. So you better take advantage of it while you can.”