Top Five Players in Franchise History: Minnesota Timberwolves

As the NBA season approaches, we are counting down the top five players for every franchise. Here, we take a look at the top five players in Minnesota Timberwolves franchise history. The T’Wolves are an interesting franchise. They have only had a couple of prime time players who played there for an extended amount of time. In fact, many of the players considered only played in Minnesota for two or three years. That made a couple of choices difficult to make. However, these are definitely the right choices! Without further ado, let’s get into this!

5) Sam Mitchell

Sam Mitchell is one of the rare good players to actually play a long time in Minnesota. In fact, he played for the T’Wolves for 10 of his 13 NBA seasons. That is part of the reason he edges out Sam Cassell, Terrell Brandon, and others for the final spot. He had six seasons in which he averaged 10 points a game or more, including 14.6 a game in 1990-91. During his time in Minnesota, he averaged 9.5 points per game with 3.7 rebounds. Mitchell also put up a little over an assist per game as well as close to a steal.

Mitchell’s all-time franchise ranks:

2nd in games played, 3rd in rebounds, 4th in steals, 10th in blocks, 2nd in points, 5th in offensive win shares, 3rd in defensive win shares, 5th in total win shares

4) Al Jefferson

Al Jefferson only played three seasons in Minnesota. However, those seasons were among the best of his career, despite missing 32 games in 2008-09. Additionally, he bridged the gap between Kevin Garnett and Kevin Love. Jefferson was one of the games most underrated players for several years, including his time in the Twin Cities.¬†During his three years with the T’Wolves, Jefferson averaged 20.1 points per game along with 10.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, nearly a steal and 1.4 blocks per game!

Jefferson’s all-time franchise ranks:

7th in rebounds, 5th in blocks, 8th in FG %, 3rd in points per game, 4th in rebounds per game, 5th in blocks per game, 4th in player efficiency rating

3) Karl Anthony Towns

Karl Anthony Towns is getting ready to enter his fourth NBA season, all with the Timberwolves. He has already established himself as one of the best all-around players in the league. In addition to that, he is already the franchises third best player ever. Offensively, there is not much Towns cannot do. He can dominate inside, shoot the three ball effectively and rebound. His defense is a work in progress still, although improving. Towns also needs to assert himself more. However, with all of that being said, his accomplishments to this point are already incredibly impressive. Take a look at his stats and franchise ranks. Quite impressive for a guy this young!

Career stats:

21.6 points per game, 11.7 rebounds per game, 2.4 assists per game, 0.7 steals per game, 1.4 blocks per game. He is shooting 54% from the field, 39% from three-point range and 84% from the free throw line.

All-time franchise ranks:

4th in rebounds, 4th in blocks, 7th in points, 2nd in field goal %, 3rd in 3-point field goal %, 1st in points per game, 2nd in rebounds per game, 4th in blocks per game, 1st in player efficiency rating, 2nd in true shooting %, 1st in effective field goal %, 2nd in offensive rating, 4th in offensive win shares, 9th in defensive win shares, 4th in total win shares, 1st in win shares per 48 minutes, 2nd in box plus/minus, 2nd in offensive box plus/minus, 3rd in value over replacement

2) Kevin Love

Kevin Love has been in the spotlight the last four seasons as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Of course, he helped LeBron James and Kyrie Irving bring the first-ever NBA title to Cleveland during the 2015-16 season. Before that, however, he was a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves for six years. It was in Minnesota that he established himself as one of the premier players in the NBA. Love was known for his rebounding and his ability to score both inside and out. He averaged at least 26 points a game twice. Love was in double-figure rebounds five of the six years there. Let’s take a look at Kevin Love’s stats and franchise rankings.

Love’s Minnesota stats:

19.2 points per game, 12.2 rebounds per game, 2.5 assists per game, 0.7 steals per game, 0.5 blocks per game. Love shot 45% from the field during his time in Minnesota as well as 36% from three and 82% from the free throw line.

All-time franchise ranks:

7th in games played, 2nd in rebounds, 3rd in points, 6th in points per game, 1st in rebounds per game, 3rd in player efficiency rating, 8th in true shooting %, 3rd in offensive rating, 2nd in offensive win shares, 2nd in defensive win shares, 2nd in total win shares, 2nd in win shares per 48 minutes, 3rd in box plus/minus, 3rd in offensive box plus/minus, 2nd in value over replacement

1) Kevin Garnett

Well, this seems obvious. KG is one of the best players in NBA history who spent 14 of his 22 seasons in Minnesota. He won a championship in Boston, but his best years were played in the Twin Cities. He led the NBA in rebounding each of the four seasons prior to leaving. In fact, during ten of his seasons in Minnesota, he was over double-figure rebounds per game. During nine of his seasons, he averaged over 20 points per game. KG was dominant on both sides of the court as he was placed on the NBA’s All-Defense Team eight times while with the Timberwolves. Take a gander at his stats and franchise ranks.

Garnett’s Minnesota stats:

19.8 points per game, 11 rebounds per game, 4.3 assists per game, 1.4 steals per game, 1.6 blocks per game. KG shot 49% from the field and 78% from the free throw line.

All-time franchise ranks:

1st in games played, 1st in rebounds, 1st in assists, 1st in steals, 1st in blocks, 1st in points, 10th in field goal %, 4th in points per game, 3rd in rebounds per game, 8th in steals per game, 2nd in blocks per game, 2nd in player efficiency rating, 2nd in defensive rating, 1st in offensive win shares, 1st in defensive win shares, 1st in total win shares, 3rd in win shares per 48 minutes, 1st in box plus/minus, 5th in offensive box plus/minus, 1st in defensive box plus/minus, 1st in value over replacement

There you go! The top five players in Minnesota Timberwolves franchise history!

Others considered: Wally Szczerbiak, Sam Cassell, Terrell Brandon, Pooh Richardson, Andrew Wiggins.

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