Andrew Wiggins got some much-needed relief when Jimmy Butler was finally traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this month. The veteran wing was reportedly a thorn in the side of the younger Wiggins, and one would think that Wiggins would perform better with Butler gone.
That’s not really been the case for Wiggins, who according to Basketball-Reference.com has seen dips in his field goal percentage, 3-point shooting percentage, and points per game since Butler played his last game with the Timberwolves.
The issues for Wiggins continued on Saturday night, when the max salary player scored zero points on 12 attempts from the field in a 29-minute effort against the Chicago Bulls.
Nevertheless, the Timberwolves beat Chicago, 111-96, and teammates were supportive of Wiggins after, saying they gave him a hard time as a joke when the final horn sounded.
“The first thing we told Andrew is he came in here and we just laughed with him,” Towns said. “Everyone has a night like that. We have pretty good confidence he will come out and be just fine next game.”
Teammate Robert Covington had an off night as well, going just 1-of-18 from the field. Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said that he wasn’t worried about the combined performance, and that it was more important for the team to grab wins.
The Timberwolves are just 9-11 on the season, but have gone 5-2 since Butler was traded.