Minnesota Timberwolves: All-Time Players From A To Z

Joseph Fafinski@Joseph FafinskiCorrespondent IJanuary 20, 2011

Minnesota Timberwolves: All-Time Players From A To Z

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    The NBA awarded the city of Minneapolis a franchise in 1989 after a 29-year hiatus. The title-winning Minneapolis Lakers of the 1950's booked their tickets for warmer pastures in Los Angeles and have won numerous titles since.

    The Minnesota Timberwolves, on the other hand, haven't won a single one in its 21 seasons of existence, but have had some historic players don the green, blue and black.

    The Wolves have had eight playoff berths in their history, all of them consecutively from the late 90's into the new millennium.

    Anyways, here is a list of the best Timberwolf for each letter of the alphabet, using their last names.

    I have already done a similar slide show on the Minnesota Twins and just like that one I hope to get some good feedback for this one.


A: William Avery, PG

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 1999-2002

    Games: 142

    MPG: 8.5

    PPG: 2.7

    APG: 1.4


    After a solid collegiate career at Duke playing alongside Corey Maggette and Elton Brand, William Avery was considered a first-round draft bust, scoring 379 points for Minnesota over three seasons.

    He was a marginal point guard and averaged 2.7 points per contest for the Wolves. His career high was 16 points and that came in his final season.

    Avery played in Europe for seven more seasons up until 2009, last playing in the Greek League.

    Runner-up: Jerome Allen, PG, 1995-1996

B: Terrell Brandon, PG

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 1999-2002

    Games: 202 (197 started)

    PPG: 15.1

    Assists: 1681 (3rd)

    APG: 8.3 (2nd)

    FT%: .895 (1st)


    In his three-plus seasons with the Timberwolves, Terrell Brandon was known as one of the better point guards in the NBA. He is also widely considered the best point guard to ever play for the Wolves.

    He is third all-time in assists and second in assists per game. He was also an excellent free-throw shooter and had the best percentage in Wolves history with an .895 frame.

    He was a two-time All-Star during his days in Cleveland, but never got elected while in Minnesota, which brought on concern and controversy by some fans.

    He now owns a barbershop in Portland.

    Runner-up: Chauncey Billups, PG, 2000-2002 (although Michael Beasley will climb up the ranks soon)

C: Tony Campbell, SG

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 1989-1992

    Games: 237 (193 started)

    Points: 4888 (5th)

    PPG: 20.6 (1st)

    RPG: 4.6

    APG: 2.8


    The first great Wolf, Tony Campbell led the team in scoring in the first three years of the franchise's history.

    These three seasons were his best in the NBA and he held the all-time scoring record for the Timberwolves until Doug West broke it in 1996. He still is fifth on that list and first with 20.6 points per game.

    He went on to play a few more years in the NBA but never matched his individual success with the Wolves.

    He now coaches high school basketball.

    Runner-up: Sam Cassell, PG, 2003-2005

D: Ricky Davis, SG

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 2005-2007

    Games: 117 (117 started)

    PPG: 17.4

    APG: 4.8

    FT%: .823


    Ricky Davis was Kevin Garnett's wingman for one and a half seasons and he put up pretty decent numbers in the process.

    When he came over to Minnesota from Boston, fans expected great things to come from the shot-happy Davis. Instead, they failed to make the playoffs in both seasons.

    He still averaged over 17 a game and shot 45 percent from the field in addition to better than 82 percent from the line.

    Random, but one of the happiest moments of my youth came from '06, when I was able to meet Davis and get his autograph at the Target Center.

    He now plays in the Chinese Basketball Association for the Jiangsu Dragons.

    Runner-up: Mark Davis, SF, 1995-1996

E: LaPhonso Ellis, PF

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 2000-2001

    Games: 82 (5 started)

    PPG: 9.4

    RPG: 6.0

    FT%: .790


    Although he spent his most productive years in a Nuggets uniform, LaPhonso Ellis had a solid season in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

    Playing in all 82 games, Ellis averaged 9.4 points and six rebounds per contest. He also tacked on nearly a block a game.

    Ellis is now a college basketball analyst for ESPN.

    Runner-up: Wayne Ellington, SG, 2009-present

F: Randy Foye, PG

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 2006-2009

    Games: 191 (103 started)

    PPG: 13.2

    APG: 3.6

    2005-06 All-Rookie First Team


    Randy Foye, the Villanova legend, began his career in Minnesota and averaged double figures in all three campaigns for the Wolves.

    His best season was his last with the team in 2008-'09, when he put career highs in points and assists with 16.3 and 4.3, respectively, per game.

    Foye has since moved to greener pastures in Los Angeles to play for the Clippers. He has reunited this season with two-year Minnesota teammate Ryan Gomes.

    Runner-up: Jonny Flynn, PG, 2009-present

G: Kevin Garnett, PF

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 1995-2007

    Games: 927 (890 started, first in both categories)

    Points: 19,041 (first, leads by more than 11,000 in this category)

    PPG: 20.5 (2nd)

    Rebounds: 10,542 (1st)

    RPG: 11.1 (2nd)

    FTM: 3727 (1st)

    Assists: 4146 (1st)

    Steals: 1282 (1st)

    Blocks: 1576 (1st)

    10-time All-Star: 1997,1998, 2000-2007

    Three-time First Team All-NBA: 2000, 2003, 2004

    Three-time Second Team All-NBA and Two-time Third Team All-NBA

    2004 NBA MVP

    Member of 2003-04 Western Conference Finalists


    Excuse me for the length of this slide, but Kevin Garnett is the Minnesota Timberwolves. Every single franchise playoff berth came when Garnett was on the roster. 

    Easily the best Timberwolf in history, his records above indicate what he has done for the NBA's 26th franchise.

    In the magical season of 2003-04, "The Big Ticket" won the NBA's MVP but ultimately the Wolves fell short in the Western Conference Finals. He led the Wolves in scoring in his last 11 (out of 13) seasons with the team. He holds four out of the five single-season scoring totals, with previously mentioned Tony Campbell holding second place there.

    His last three seasons delivered absolutely nothing, and after the team fell apart in the following years, nothing good happened for "The Kid" and the Pups, and he was shipped off to Boston in a blockbuster trade.

    Now? Garnett is a champion, and that's all that matters to me.

    Sorry we couldn't give you much to work with here, KG.

    Runner-up: Tom Gugliotta, PF, 1995-1998

H: Troy Hudson, PG

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 2002-2007

    Games: 257 (113 started)

    PPG: 9.9

    3PM: 285 (4th)

    FT%: .865 (5th)

    Member of 2003-04 Western Conference Finalists

    "T-Hud" enjoyed five seasons on the Timberwolves, and was a large part of the offense due to his excellent three-point and free throw shooting, as well as his quick passing.

    Hudson's best season was in his first with the club, when he started 74 games and averaged a career best 14.2 points and 5.7 assists per game. He earned the nickname "Laker Killer" for his postseason play against Los Angeles.

    He was replaced by Sam Cassell the following year but still was an asset to the offense afterward.

    He now is a rapper who goes by T-Hud and has released one album.

    Runner-up: Trenton Hassell, SG, 2003-2007

J: Al Jefferson, PF

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 2007-2010

    Games: 208 (208 started)

    PPG: 20.1 (3rd)

    FG%: .498

    Rebounds: 2162 (4th)

    RPG: 10.4 (3rd)

    BPG: 1.7 (2nd)


    Kevin Garnett's heir was one of the most underappreciated players in the NBA during his tenure with the Timberwolves.

    Al Jefferson was a force to reckon with, and averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds in his first year in Minnesota, and people began to talk about him as the future. He was a constant near the top of league leaders in rebounds and double-doubles.

    "Big Al" was a fan favorite in Minnesota, and had post moves that almost no one could match.

    Three injury-hampered and unfulfilled seasons later, he is sporting a Utah Jazz uniform after being shipped for draft picks this past offseason.

    Runner-up: Bobby Jackson, PG, 1998-2000

K: Kosta Koufos, C

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 2010-present

    Games: 31 (1 started)

    PPG: 2.7

    RPG: 2.5

    A product of Ohio State's Thad Matta and Greece, Kosta Koufos has played sparingly in his only season with the Wolves. He is averaging 2.7 points and 2.5 rebounds at this time.

    Runner-up: Stacey King, C, 1994-1995

L: Kevin Love, PF

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 2008-present

    Games: 183 (101 started)

    PPG: 14.4

    RPG: 11.2 (1st)

    3P%: .382 (5th)

    FG%: .458


    Kevin Love is the best player on the current Wolves' team. He also might be the best rebounder in the game right now.

    At the moment he is an NBA clear-cut leader at 15.7 per contest. He also is averaging 21.2 points to lead the team, and is playing like an All-Star.

    As if that isn't amazing enough, Love is in the midst of having 28 consecutive double-doubles, just five off the NBA record. We can only watch and hope it continues as the Wolves take on the Clippers tonight at the Staples Center.

    Let's hope fans also decide he'll be an All-Star come February.

    Runner-up: Christian Laettner, C, 1992-1996

M: Sam Mitchell, SF

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 1989-1992, 1995-2002

    Games: 757 (291 started, 2nd and 4th)

    Points: 7161 (2nd)

    Rebounds: 3030 (2nd)


    With the exception of a three-year hiatus with the Indiana Pacers, Sam Mitchell played for the Timberwolves for his whole career.

    In 10 seasons he established himself as one of the top few Wolves to ever play. He is second on the all-time scoring list, trailing only Kevin Garnett. 

    He was the Toronto Raptors' head coach for four seasons in the late 2000's and was the NBA's Coach of the Year in 2007. He is currently an assistant for the New Jersey Nets.

    Runner-up: Stephon Marbury, PG, 1996-1999 (sorry Mad Dog)

N: Radoslav Nesterovic, C

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 1998-2003

    Games: 316 (255 started)

    PPG: 7.5

    RPG: 5.0

    Blocks: 373 (2nd)


    In his four seasons with the Timberwolves, "Rasho" was a constant in the starting lineup for five seasons, starting 255 out of 316 possible contests.

    Nesterovic had his best year in his last with the club, averaging 11.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in over 30 minutes per game of playing. He also shot over 52 percent that season.

    He spent six more seasons in the NBA, and last played with the Indiana Pacers in 2009.

    Runner-up: None, Nesterovic is the lone N.

O: Michael Olowokandi, C

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 2003-2006

    Games: 137 (54 started)

    PPG: 6.1

    RPG: 5.5

    BPG: 1.1


    The number one pick in the 1998 draft out of the University of the Pacific, Michael Olowokandi is considered one of the biggest draft busts of all-time.

    The Nigeria native played three seasons in the tundra, and was a mediocre center during his tenure, and his controversial career ended two years later with the Celtics.

    Olowokandi has done better off the court, and is a regular donater to various charities and funds.

    Runner-up (and the only other one): Kevin Ollie, PG, 2008-2009

P: Anthony Peeler, SG

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 1998-2003

    Games: 379, 5th (154 started)

    3PM: 465 (1st)

    3PA: 1126 (1st)

    3P%: .379 (5th)


    A notorious sharpshooter out of the University of Missouri, Anthony Peeler holds numerous three-point records for the Wolves, including makes and attempts.

    The 6'4" shooting guard drilled 465 out of 1126 attempts for a .379 percentage, good for fifth in Minnesota history.

    Peeler went on to play two more seasons in the NBA before retiring.

    Runner-up: Cherokee Parks, C, 1996-1998

    (Writer's Note: There are no Timberwolves in history with a last name beginning with Q, and that is why the list jumps from P to R.)

R: Isaiah Rider, SG

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 1993-1996

    Games: 229 (195 started)

    PPG: 18.8 (4th)

    3PM: 295 (3rd)

    RPG: 3.8

    APG: 2.9

    NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest Winner in 1994


    A terrific scorer, Isaiah Rider played the first three years of his interesting career in the confines of the Target Center with the Timberwolves.

    He shot the ball well from all over and could dunk like no other, winning the Slam Dunk Contest in 1994 as a 22-year old rookie.

    In his third year, he set the Minnesota single game rebounds record for a guard with 15 boards.

    Then it got bad legally. Rider was convicted of fifth-degree assault for kicking a woman in a sports bar, then tossed on a marijuana possession charge that summer.

    The Timberwolves promptly traded him, and he would never be the same.

    Runner-up: Pooh Richardson, PG, 1989-1992

S: Wally Szczerbiak, SF

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 1999-2006

    Games: 438 (336 started, 4th and 3rd)

    PPG: 14.1

    3PM: 343 (2nd)

    3P%: .404 (2nd)

    FTM: 1166 (4th)

    1999-2000 All-Rookie First Team

    One-time All-Star: 2002

    Member of 2003-04 Western Conference Finalists


    The best shooter in Minnesota's history, Wally Szczerbiak (yes, that is how it is spelled) was a main asset of the Timberwolves and their playoff success.

    He was considered Kevin Garnett's main man for years in 'Snowta, and he shot three pointers like golfers make pars.

    After Minnesota it was all down hill for the 1999 first-rounder out of Miami of Ohio. A good season with the Celtics, followed by average stints with the SuperSonics and the Cavaliers, capped his otherwise solid career.

    Runner-up: Joe Smith, SF, 1999-2003

T: Gary Trent, PF

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 2001-2004

    Games: 212 (34 started)

    PPG: 6.5

    FG%: .506 (4th)

    RPG: 3.7

    Member of 2003-04 Western Conference Finalists


    Gary Trent once shot 81.6% percent in high school-- over an entire season. It was and still is the national high school record.

    These skills translated over to a great career at Ohio University, and a decent era with the Timberwolves.

    He is fourth in team history, shooting .506 while donning the black, blue, and white. He also averaged 6.5 points and 3.7 rebounds with Minnesota.

    He was a nice bench asset during the best season in franchise history, when the Wolves won 58 and advanced to the Western Conference Finals.

    Runner-up: Sebastian Telfair, PG, 2007-2009, 2010-present

    (Writer's Note: There are no Timberwolves in history with a last name beginning with I, and that is why the list jumps from T to V.)

V: Stojko Vrankovic, C

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 1996-1997

    Games: 53 (35 started)

    MPG: 14.8

    PPG: 3.4

    RPG: 3.2


    A 7'2" Croatian native, Stojko Vrankovic played in one season with the Wolves, where he played in 52 games, starting 35 of them while averaging 14.8 minutes on the hardwood.

    Runner-up (and the only other one): Gundars Vetra, SG, 1992-1993 (fun fact: Vetra was the first Latvian to ever play in the NBA)

W: Doug West, SF

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    Years as a Timberwolf: 1989-1998

    Games: 609 (371, 3rd and 2nd)

    Points: 6216 (3rd)

    FGM: 2530 (4th)

    Steals: 428 (3rd)


    Doug West, another Villanova product, was probably the best player for the Wolves in the early 90's.

    He was a great defender who is still 3rd in team history in steals. His best seasons came in 1991-92 when he averaged 14 points per contest, and the following year, when he put up more than 19 a game.

    Anyone who shoots nearly 48 percent over a nine year period is considered an excellent shooter, and West is no exception.

    He later admitted to suffering from depression and alcoholism while playing in Minnesota.

    Regardless, he is one of the top ten to ever play for the Wolves, in my humble opinion. 

    Runner-up: Micheal Williams, PG, 1992, 1993, 1994-1998

    (Writer's Note: There are no Timberwolves in history with a last name beginning with X, Y or Z and that is why the list is done after the letter W.)

On The Way?

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    Here is a list of players who might get their way onto this list within a matter of years:


    Michael Beasley, SF (2010-present)- Beasley is averaging over 20 per game as Kevin Love's right hand man this year, but he will need some excellent seasons in Minnesota if he wants to overtake current "B" man Terrell Brandon.

    RIcky Rubio, PG (2011-?)- Management has come out recently and said that Rubio will be joining the club next summer. First he needs to play with the team in order to be considered.


    Hope you enjoyed and I would love some constructive feedback!