Minnesota TimberWolves All Time Roster

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STARTING LINEUP :

C. Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett


P.F. Kevin Love

Minnesota Timberwolves v Portland Trail Blazers


S.F. Wally Szczerbiak

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S.G. Isaiah Rider

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P.G. Sam Cassell

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BENCH :

 

C. Christian Laettner

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P.F. Tom Gugliotta

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S.F. Sam Mitchell

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S.G. Doug West

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P.G. Terrell Brandon

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S.F. Tony Campbell

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S.G. Latrell Sprewell

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CENTERS :

At C I picked Kevin Garnett. No great center has ever played in the franchise. I think that Al Jefferson is clearly the best the Wolves ever had and he’s actually not even a true center, he’s in fact rather a PF. Which is why I decided to pick KG as the starting C cause if KG started at PF most of the time (and at SF in his early years) in his Wolves days, he definitely can play at C, he did it several times through his career, including his Wolves days, and is even the starting C right now in Boston. Anyway Garnett clearly is the best player that this team ever had. He was the LeBron James of the league at the time, he was always the leader of the efficiency rating stat, and by far. It is just too bad that the Wolves were not more succesful with him as the leader, as a matter of fact he only led his Wolves to the WCF once, in 03/04, other than that the Wolves never passed the first round during the Garnett days. Garnett was still MVP once, and All Star MVP once in his Minnesota years. Fantastic player.

I picked Christian Laettner as his back up. Laettner was also a PF, but could definitely play C. And I prefer to have him in my lineup than Jefferson. A case can be made for both players though, they were/are equally talented but Laettner played a little more in Minnesota : he played 3 and a half years as a Wolve (he was traded in the middle of his second year as a Wolve) while Al played 2 and a half years in Minneapolis (he was injured in his second year). Furthermore Christian was the first star that this team had. And the Wolves were around the same in the Al’s years as they were in the Laettner years : not very succesful. Laettner never reached the level at which most people thought he would play but he was still a very good player nonetheless.

 

 

POWER FORWARDS :

 

At PF I picked Kevin Love. Some people might think that he might be a little young to be already mentioned in an All Time roster, well as I already said many times I think that a player should spend at least 3 years in a team to be able to be mentioned (there are exceptions though, I already mentioned players who played less than that but always explained why) and Love has already spent 4 years in Minnesota and he is clearly already the second best player that this franchise ever had.

 


I picked Tom Gugliotta as his back up, Tom had his best years as a Wolves, he was even All Star then and he was a part of two big threes, the Laettner-Rider-Googs big three, and most importantly the KG-Starbury-Googs big three (Garnett was a SF then), as a matter of fact this big three led the team to his first playoffs ever. And at the time this team was very exciting to watch and everyone thought that it would be THE team of the 2000’s. This until Starbury got jealous of KG’s contract and demanded to get traded…

 

 

SMALL FORWARDS :

 

At SF I picked Wally Szczerbiak. Wally World was a very good shooter who had his best years as KG’s sidekick even if he never became the star that he was supposed to be at first.

 

I picked Sam Mitchell as his back up. Mitchell is certainly not the the best SF in NBA history, he never was among the best SFs in the league, he was never a star or All Star but it is impossible not to mention him in this roster nonetheless. As a matter of fact his career is closely linked to the TimberWolves. He was among the very first player to play with this franchise, he started his NBA career in Minnesota the first year the Wolves were in the league (he played in the CBA and in France before that 1989 year he was drafted by the new franchise of Minnesota) and he had a very solid career. He played with the Wolves for the first three years of the young franchise then was traded to Indiana and returned in Minneapolis in 1995 and played there for the last seven years of his career. He started for most of the games during the first three Wolves years, at the time his best teammates were Doug West, Pooh Richardson or Tyrone Corbin and when he came back in Minneapolis he teamed up with Laettner, Rider, Gugliotta and the young Garnett that has just arrived for his first year in the league. He was a part of the first Wolves team to ever make the playoffs in 96/97. He scored his career high 37 pts as a Wolve, in the early 90’s. Mitchell ranks second in Wolves history in points, steals and minutes played, and is third in total rebounds.

(I could not find a video of some of Mitchell’s plays, so I picked this one in which Sam talks about the new rookie sensation Anthony Davis)

 

 

SHOOTING GUARDS :

 

At SG I picked Isaiah Rider. He was the best player of the team, with Laettner, in the mid 90’s and was one of the most spectacular player of the league at the time. As everybody knows he even invented a dunk, that still wears his name to this day.

 

I picked Doug West as his back up. Doug started his career in Minnesota, and he was an « original » TimberWolf in the sense that he was drafted by the team in its first year of existence. He was also the last of the original roster to remain on the team, he spent the first nine years of his career in Minneapolis. Doug was never a star but he was a solid player in his Wolves days, from the 91/92 season he was a starter most of the time. Very solid defender, good scorer, Doug is the Wolves’ fourth All Time leaging scorer, third All Time in steals, tenth All Time rebounder and sixth All Time in assists. He also ranks third in Wolves history in minutes and games played.

 

POINT GUARDS :

 

At PG I picked Sam Cassell. Sam I Am only played two seasons in Minneapolis but he had such a great impact on this team that he definitely deserves be mentioned here. Besides no other great PG ever played in that team, and most of the PGs did not play there for a long time anyway.. As soon as he arrived in Minnesota Sam brought to this team all what they needed, especially in terms of clutchness and leadership. As a matter of fact, as talented as he was, KG was heavily criticized in these areas in his Wolves days which is why the Wolves definitely needed a player like Sam. Thanks to Sam the Wolves passed the first round of the playoffs for the first time ever, and they even made the WCF against the Lakers that same year, in 2004. Not only that but many think that had Sam not been injured in those WCF, the Wolves would have had a good chance to make the Finals and maybe even win their first ring ever. They never reached the CF again after that, actually they never even made the playoffs again after this year. On a personal standpoint Cassell also had his best season that same year, he even was All Star as well as All NBA (2nd) for the only time of his career.

 


I picked Terrell Brandon as his back up. Terrell was a great player although he did not play long in Minnesota. As a matter of fact Terrell was traded to the Wolves during the 99 lock out season and played the last 20 games of the team that year (and the playoffs), then he had two full seasons but got badly injured the following year after playing only 32 games and had to retire for good. It was very hard for the Wolves at the time. Nevertheless he still is clearly the second best PG that this team ever had.

(I could not find a video of Brandon during his Wolves days, so I picked this video of his induction in the Oregon Hall of Fame instead)

 

11th & 12th SPOTS :

 

For the last two spots I picked Tony Campbell and Latrell Sprewell. Tony Campbell happens to be the first leader of the franchise, he had a couple of amazing seasons in Minnesota.

 

Latrell Sprewell only played two years with the Wolves but the arrival of Sam Cassel and him brought the team to another level and allowed the Wolves to pass the first round for the first and only time ever. His second year was not as glorious as he considered himself underpaid and deliberatly started underplaying, which hurts the Wolves a lot at the time.. And that is why I hesitated a bit to mention him here but his impact on the team in his first year was so important that I think he still deserves at least this last spot.

 

Other players could have been mentioned like Joe Smith or Marbury for instance, but I honestly could not put Marbury there because the Wolves were counting a lot on him and he turned out to be a major disappointment for the franchise (just like everywhere he has been actually..) as he got jealous of KG’s huge contract in his third season and demanded to be traded. As for Joe Smith he was drafted number one by the Warriors in 95 and was so expected to become a superstar but he never even was close to it.. It is in Minnesota that he had the best days of his career though as he was quite valuable on the bench for them. I still do not think that he did enough to be on that roster, especially that he was also involved with McHale (Wolves executive at the time) in a salary-cap tampering scandal by signing an illegal contract in 2000. The Wolves had to pay a hard price for that as the NBA took away five first round picks from them. It was too big a price to pay, especially for a player like Smith.. Fortunately for them the Wolves now got over it and it seems that they have a bright future ahead of them.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Minnesota TimberWolves All Time Roster”
  1. jumpingpolarbear says:

    My all time favourite team is the one day have now. When all the players get healthy, it can be a very interesting season!

    • pataloysius says:

      Yeah I definitely agree with you. When I started watching the NBA, in the early 90’s, the Wolves were not very exciting to watch (except for Rider and his great dunks), and it changed with the arrivals of KG then Marbury and Googs, that young team was extremely exciting.

      Then we had the 2003/04 team with the arrivals of Sam I Am and Spree, if Sam Cassell wasn’t injured in the WCF, this team could have won it all.

      But both those teams are nothing compared to this year’s team IMO. The Wolves this year are on paper the most talented team we ever seen in Minneapolis. If healthy their starting lineup could even be considered as the most talented one in the entire league (with the Lakers’ and Grizz ones) : Pekovic, Love, Kirilenko, Roy and Rubio. That’s an amazing lineup.

      Unfortunately it seems that Roy will never be able to remain healthy for an entire season again, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him retiring again this season. But they are still amazingly talented, even without him, they are good enough to make the WCF. Although it’s gonna be very hard to even pass the first round this year, there are so many great teams in the West : Grizzlies, Clippers, Lakers, Thunder, Spurs… All of those teams can make the Finals.

      But the Wolves sure have a bright future ahead of them.

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