The Sonics have seven days to decide whether to match the offer
or let Wilkins, a restricted free agent, leave. Terms of the deal
were not disclosed.
As a rookie last season, Wilkins averaged 6.3 points and 2.3
rebounds a game for Seattle, but saved his best basketball for the
He averaged 7.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 25.2 minutes in the
Western Conference semifinals against San Antonio, including 15
points and six rebounds in Game 3.
"Damien is someone that we believe has tremendous upside,"
general manager Jim Stack said. "He continually improved
throughout last season, and he became a significant contributor for
Seattle during the playoffs. Hopefully, we'll see him in a
Timberwolves uniform this upcoming season."
Wilkins' transition to Minnesota would be a relatively easy one.
In the offseason, the Wolves hired longtime Seattle assistant Dwane
Casey as their head coach. Casey plans to use a system much similar
to the freewheeling transition game that made the Sonics one of the
surprise successes last season.
"Obviously Dwane's got a great comfort level with him," Stack
said. "We felt like he really came on down the stretch of the year
and into the playoffs. We kind of eyeballed him and Dwayne
encouraged us to look into doing something with him."
Wilkins is the son of former pro Gerald Wilkins and the nephew
of nine-time All-Star Dominique Wilkins. He went undrafted out of
North Carolina State last season, but didn't give up.
Stack said Wilkins' pedigree may have played a role in that
"Having lived it and been around people who have lived it, you
understand what it takes to get to this level and stay at this
level," Stack said. "A lot of guys don't have that same
understanding of the day-in and day-out commitment it takes to play
at this high of a level."