NBA: All-Time starting 5 of the Minnesota Timberwolves
In 1989, the NBA returned to Minneapolis with the formation of a new expansion team named the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was a long time coming for the Twin City since the Lakers left for Los Angeles in 1960. The Timberwolves had a rough start to their history, missing the playoffs in their first seven seasons.
The arrival of Kevin Garnett changed the team’s fortunes as they made it to the postseason eight straight times from 1997 to 2004. The Timberwolves had their best run in 2004 when they reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. However, they would lose to the Lakers in six games.
Minnesota then endured a 13-year postseason drought when they had players like Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio. The team was dysfunctional and a mess during those times until they made it back to the playoffs in 2018 with Karl-Anthony Towns at the helm.
In their 30-year existence, the Timberwolves have produced a few great players and some really good ones. Here are the team’s all-time starting five.
Guard – Ricky Rubio
There was a lot of hype surrounding Ricky Rubio in 2009 as he was fresh off a masterful performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At just 17 years old, Rubio was playing against the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, helping Spain win the Silver Medal.
With the Timberwolves, Rubio never realized his potential but he became the best point guard the franchise has ever seen. He ranks second in the team’s all-time assists leaderboard, as well as in steals. He never led the team to the playoffs but he was a consistent playmaker for the team. He spent six seasons in Minnesota before getting traded to the Utah Jazz in 2017.
Honorable Mention: Guard – Sam Cassell
Sam Cassell played only two seasons in Minnesota, having his best season in his first year with the team averaging 19.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. Cassell was also an All-Star during that year and he was named to the All-NBA Second Team. He helped the Timberwolves make their first ever Western Conference Finals appearance.