NBA Championships: 0
Last NBA Championship: N/A
Claim to Fame: The Timberwolves selected Kevin Garnett directly out of high school with the fifth pick in the 1995 NBA Draft.
Claim to Shame: Minnesota drafted point guards Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn over Steph Curry in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Since entering the league in 1989, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been largely defined by the Kevin Garnett era. He was taken with the fifth overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft.
Paired with a young point guard in Stephon Marbury, the infrastructure to greatness was in place, and the pair led the Wolves to their first winning season in 1997. But the marriage was short-lived. Marbury forced a trade during the 1998 campaign, wanting to have the lead role on his own franchise.
In 2003, Minnesota added point guard Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell in separate deals and Garnett won MVP. Minny won a franchise-best 58 games, but fell to the Lakers in their only trip to the Western Finals.
By 2007, the Wolves decided to move on from Garnett, and traded him to the Celtics.
Despite drafting All-Star forward Kevin Love in 2008, the losing continued in Minnesota, made worse in hindsight as the team passed on Steph Curry in the 2009 draft.
Prior to the 2014 season, the Wolves shipped Love to Cleveland for that year’s first overall pick Andrew Wiggins. The next year, Minnesota won the draft lottery and added Karl Anthony-Towns.
Prior to the 2017-18 season, head coach Tom Thibodeau traded former first round picks Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the rights to 2017 first round pick Lauri Markkanen for Bulls All-Star Jimmy Butler.
The results were good. It snapped a franchise worst 12 straight losing seasons and Minnesota made the playoffs, but they were washed by the top-seeded Houston Rockets in the opening round.
Unfortunately for the Wolves, the good times didn’t last, as Butler went nuclear just before last season began and forced a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers after a stalemate that went into early November. Without the enigmatic wing to prop up Towns and Wiggins, the Wolves faded back into relative obscurity.
Wiggins is reportedly still on the trade block as new GM Gersson Rosas tries to re-shape the team in his vision and get them back into playoff contention.