In the 19-year existence of the Minnesota Timberwolves, we have seen many good players, but when you think of an all-time starting five for the Wolves, there is only one name that immediately pops into your head. Other than Kevin Garnett, who else deserves to be on this team?
The other four players other than Garnett are hard to think of. Many players have been mediocre, but Garnett has only brought a teammate to the All-Star Game three times in his many years wearing a Wolves jersey. The team has never made it deep into the playoffs with the exception of the 2003-2004 season, when they advanced to the Western Conference Finals. Some of these other players on this squad are recent and some are from the original Wolves days.
The starting point guard on this “all-time” Wolves team is Sam Cassell. Cassell only played 140 games with the Wolves, but he helped a lot on the 2004 playoff team. The 03-04 season was probably Cassell’s best year in the NBA, when he made the All-Star team. Cassell averaged 17.1 ppg and 6.4 apg as a Timberwolf in those two seasons. Both Stephon Marbury and Terrell Brandon should receive mention for their efforts as Timberwolves, but Cassell’s two seasons are far superior to both Brandon’s and Marbury’s careers as Wolves.
This squad would feature Wally Szczerbiak as the shooting guard. Szczerbiak played both shooting guard and small forward for the Wolves, but fits well at a guard position for this team. Throughout Szczerbiak’s seven years with the Wolves, he consistently played well with Garnett. Szczerbiak played over 430 games for the Wolves and started most of them. He averaged 16.8 ppg as a Timberwolf and was invited to the 2002 All-Star Game. Other than Szczerbiak, J.R. Rider and Pooh Richardson are the only other names that had significant NBA careers.
The small forward is the unknown Doug West. West played nine seasons with the Wolves in the early nineties. West’s numbers are not that impressive, but beat out competitors Sam Mitchell and Latrell Sprewell. Mitchell was a great player that always seemed to get the job done. Mitchell and Sprewell were both great players for the Wolves, but West was a better overall player.
Kevin Garnett is the first and only choice at power forward. Garnett was a ten-time All-Star and the best player in Timberwolves history. When KG’s days are over, he will probably become a member of the NBA Hall Of Fame as a Wolf. Garnett’s stats are incredible, as he averaged 11 rebounds and 20 points per game as a Timberwolf.
This squad’s center is Christian Laettner. Laettner is labeled an NBA bust, but he is all the Wolves have had. Laettner averaged 17.2 points and 8 rebounds a game during his Timberwolves career. Laettner failed to lead the Wolves to any post-season action throughout his four-year tenure on the team, but has been the best center. Rasho Nesterovic was also a solid center in his years, but his stats do not compare to Laettner’s.
The Timberwolves all-time best coach is Flip Saunders. Flip is the only coach that ever made it to the post-season and he owns the best winning percentage of all Wolves coaches. Flip’s firing in 2005 was one of the biggest mistakes that this team has made, as he went on to numerous Eastern Conference Finals appearances.
This created team is full of unrecognizable names in NBA history, besides Kevin Garnett. Hopefully, four of these players will lose their spot in the coming years, but KG will hold his forever.