This past season was a real disappointment for Timberwolves fans. They were expected to heavily challenge for a playoff spot out west, but alas showed that they are still pups with much to learn.
Finishing with a record of 31-51 with the Wolves infamously having terrible 3rd quarters showed that they lacked leadership and experience, and with the ACL tear on Zach LaVine, last season was a real dud.
However, with their young core all under 22, the future is bright for this wolfpack.
Although the franchise is still young, there has not been much success in their history. They’ve only made the playoffs 8 times and haven’t returned since 2004. A big reason for this is their bad luck with a lot of their trades of the past three decades. Here are the five worst:
5. Ty Lawson
Although Ty Lawson is now just a borderline starter for the lowly Kings, there was a time where he was heavily considered a constant All-Star snub when he was with the Nuggets. In Denver, his best season came in 2014/15 where he averaged 15.2 points and 9.6 assists.
He was no scrub… and he was actually drafted by Minnesota.
In 2009 the Wolves drafted him 18th but decided to trade him to Denver and keep Jonny Flynn, the guy they drafted at 6. Now nobody has heard of Flynn because he’s not in the league anymore. Minnesota trading away quality guards is sadly a common trend in this list.
4. Brandon Roy
“Hey! Brandon Roy played for Minnesota back in 2012/13” I hear you say. Yes, that is true, but that was after Roy had suffered his horrible knee injuries and was a shell of the former 3 time All-Star.
Roy was drafted with the 6th pick in 2006 by the Wolves and they immediately shipped to Portland for Randy Foye. Roy, before his injury, proceeded to be a multiple All-Star and one of the bright young talents of the league. Who knows, if they had kept Roy they might have also kept Kevin Garnett and anything could have happened from there.
3. Chandler Parsons
You could argue that Parsons has been the lowest value for money player this season. Actually, it’s no question. Averaging only 6.2 points per game on 33.8% from the field whilst earning over $22 million?
Yeah, it was bad.
But before it all went downhill Parsons was a very versatile 3 and D player for the Rockets and the Mavericks. He was a good shooter, a good defender and an all-around glue guy.
The Rockets, which was the team that drafted him actually traded him to the Timberwolves in exchange for a few pieces back in 2011. Then Minnesota traded him back… for cash, just cash.
Another bright young talent who could’ve helped the Wolves leap out of mediocrity.
2. Sam Cassell
2003/4 was easily the best season in Minnesota history. Their franchise player KG won the MVP whilst leading his team to their first and so far only 1st seed. However, they were unable to get past Shaq, Kobe and the LA Lakers in the Conference Finals.
Sam Cassell was the 2nd best player on that team which saw him get his first All-Star nod at 34 after averaging just under 20 points per game. But alas after 04 the team started to blow up. The Wolves decided to ship the aging Cassell, moving him to the Clippers for a few random pieces to try and make use of KG’s prime years. As we all know this didn’t work out.
Another tragedy of this trade was they basically gave away a good first round pick in the 2012 NBA draft, the time when they were looking to seriously rebuild.
Sidenote; KG and Cassell reunited in 2008 in Boston and won a title together, happy days.
1. Ray Allen
You may have seen recently that a few members of the title-winning 2008 Celtics team had a reunion to commemorate they’re coming together. Although Ray Allen was a vital member of that squad he was not invited to the party. He and KG were teammates in Boston, but did you know they could’ve been together in Minnesota?
Imagine the inside-outside combo of Jesus Shuttlesworth and The Big Ticket.
Minnesota drafted Ray-Ray in 1996 but immediately traded him to the Bucks for KG’s friend Stephon Marbury. Marbury was a great player averaging over 21 points and nearly 9 assists in 1998/9, but he wanted more of the spotlight, and so was traded to the Nets halfway through the season.
The Wolves gave up the current all-time leader in 3 pointers made for a guy who left them after his third season.
Oh, what might have been…