Do you remember when the Timberwolves were expected to make the playoffs? It wasn’t as long ago as what it seems; the 2000’s started just that way. In 2001, the Timberwolves had one of the best players in the NBA leading the way in Kevin Garnett, and made the playoffs four straight seasons. Even with KG still leading the way, the Timberwolves missed out on the playoffs in 2005 and 2006, which led them to trade Garnett to the Celtics in the summer of 2007. Since the trade they have been in a rebuilding process and have yet to put in a remotely competitive team on the floor. The constant shuffle of players for the Timberwolves left the team with few stars during the 2000’s, but the one that stands on the top of the list is one of the best players to hit the court in the 2000’s. Here are the best five Minnesota Timberwolves from 2001-2010. (Only accomplishments and stats while playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2000-2010 were considered.)
1. Kevin Garnett
Doesn’t it seem like forever ago that Garnett played for the Timberwolves? However, just three seasons ago, Garnett was playing in his twelfth season with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Seven of those twelve seasons came in the 2000’s, including his MVP season in 2003-04. In all seven of those seasons, Garnett scored over 21 points and hauled in 11 boards a game. He was elected to the Western Conference All-Star team and either the First or Second All-Defensive NBA teams in all seven seasons. KG pretty much has every Minnesota Timberwolves franchise record that exists. His franchise records include most career points, rebounds, assists, blocked shots, steals and triple doubles. You know what; forget that just about every record thing. Garnett is the entire Timberwolves franchise record book.
2. Wally Szczerbiak
The Miami of Ohio star played 5 ½ of his 6 ½ seasons with the Timberwolves in the 2000’s. In 2005-06, Szcerbiak was having his best season with the Timberwolves, averaging 20.1 points a game before the Timberwolves traded him to Boston Celtics in a deal that helped bring Ricky Davis to Minnesota.
3. Al Jefferson
On July 31st, 2007, the Minnesota Timberwolves traded away what was considered their franchise otherwise known as Kevin Garnett. The trade brought in Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes and a promising young big man named Al Jefferson. In his first two seasons with the Timberwolves, Jefferson averaged over 21 points and 11 rebounds per game. He took a step backwards in his third season with Minnesota, but still averaged 17.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
4. Sam Cassell
It’s not a coincidence that Sam Cassell is on three teams’ best players of the 2000’s list. For one, he seems to stay at the same place for 2-4 years, making him eligible to squeak into a team’s top five. Secondly, the teams he played for in the 2000’s weren’t exactly year in and year out powerhouses. And thirdly, he has a knack for making teams better. Sam dropped in over 19 points a game in each of his first two seasons with the Timberwolves before dropping down to only 13.5 points per contest in his third season with them.
5. Randy Foye
Foye played three seasons with the Timberwolves and to put it politely he didn’t exactly light up the league. Seriously though, these are the Timberwolves we are talking about, which means you don’t have to tear it up to climb into the fifth spot of their best players in the 2000’s. Out of his three seasons, Foye’s best one came in 2008-09 when he scored just a tad over 16 points per game.