From: Las Vegas
Solid take by Eric at Canis:
I don’t love this, but it was obviously coming, so no point in screaming about it just because pen was finally put to paper. I have serious doubt that this will be a wise investment for the Wolves, but several things conspired to make it happen. First, the system is designed this way—it encourages overpays of your own guys. Second, Wiggins scores a lot, was the prize in a big trade, and is popular. Even if you (as decision-maker) don’t think this is the right thing, it takes a strong constitution to go in a different direction. Glen Taylor doesn’t have that.
I really don’t know where Thibs is on this; I think I underestimated how bad an idea it was to have one guy in both jobs. That’s not just specific to this contract, but overall. It’s too much. But there is reason to question Thibs’ evaluation abilities.
It’s possible, of course, that Wiggins develops into a much better player than I envision, and it’s all worth it. Even if he doesn’t, though, it’s not necessarily fatal, depending on your expectations. I’ve never been a championship or bust guy, and it’s very possible that the Wolves are a competitive and entertaining team over the next half-decade even if Wiggins doesn’t become a superstar.
Wiggins himself is an unusual player in some ways. When you try to fairly group him statistically, he winds up on fairly short lists of guys you would never call stars. On the other hand, most of those guys were older, because it remains a fairly recent development that 19 year olds were in the league, so there is a limited sample. Most of those guys also lacked the physical gifts we think Wiggins has, which is a double-edged sword.
At the moment he fits the broad category of "guys who score a lot with middling efficiency but don’t do much else." I’ve made this point before on multiple occasions, but these are guys who generally get overpaid and don’t generally contribute to winning as top players on teams. In fact, guys like this often are big scorers on bad teams, exactly what Wiggins has been for his career so far. (Aside: They often wind up having their most productive years as sixth men on better teams.)
That doesn’t mean his fate is written in stone. But there is real risk here, and I don’t love the odds.