Regardless of what happens with Jimmy Butler, the Timberwolves have Andrew Wiggins (five years, $148 million starting this season) and Karl-Anthony Towns (five years, $190 million starting next season) signed to very long and very expensive contracts. Here are some reasons that should make Wolves fans optimistic and some others that might make them nervous:
The good: Both are former rookies of the year, and both are young (Wiggins is 23 and Towns turns 23 next month). Towns has put up bigger numbers and generated greater accolades (last season he was an All-Star and third-team All-NBA). Wiggins regressed last season while sharing the wing with Butler but made some defensive strides and is still a dangerous scoring threat. If both reach their full potential, they’ll be a potent 1-2 threat.
The bad: The Wolves won just 31 games two seasons ago with Towns and Wiggins as centerpieces of the team. Both have a lot of work to do defensively, and Butler has questioned their work ethic and desire on that end of the floor on multiple occasions. They will take up a big chunk of the Wolves’ salary cap going forward, and if their progress stalls, the Wolves’ fortunes could as well.