1989/90: Nearly 30 years after the Lakers left for Los Angeles, the NBA returned to Minnesota with an expansion team known as the Timberwolves. Minnesota, which was home of two different ABA teams, had also gone 20 years without professional basketball. The T-Wolves made their debut on November 3rd, losing to the Seattle Supersonics on the road 106-94. Five days later, they would make their home debut at the Metrodome, losing to the Chicago Bulls 96-84. Just two nights later, the Wolves would finally get their first win beating the Philadelphia 76ers at home 125-118 on November 10th. The Timberwolves would go on to finish with a 22-60 record while finishing in 6th place in the Midwestern Division, as Tony Campbell led the team with 23.2 ppg. Playing in the cavernous Metrodome, the expansion Timberwolves would draw over one million fans, including the third-largest crowd in NBA history at 49,551 on April 17th, that saw the Timberwolves lose to the Denver Nuggets 99-88 in the final home game of the season.
1990/91: The Timberwolves started the season in spectacular fashion by beating the Dallas Mavericks 98-85 before a sold-out crowd of 19,006 at the Target Center. The T-Wolves would continue to struggle in their second season. However, they would finish the strong season posting a 7-5 record in April for their first winning month in franchise history to finish their second season in fifth place with a 29-53 record.
1991/92: The Timberwolves would begin their season amidst a blizzard as a one day record of 24 inches fell as the Wolves lost to the Utah Jazz on opening night 112-97. The snow would be an omen as the T-Wolves lost nine of their first ten games on the way to finishing dead last with an NBA worse record of 15-67, as no Timberwolves averaged better than 16.8 ppg. After the season, the Wolves would come up short again as they lost out an opportunity to select LSU star, Shaquille O’Neal, by not getting the top spot in the draft lottery.
1992/93: After losing out on Shaquille O’Neal, the Timberwolves turned to Christian Laettner, who led Duke University to two straight National Titles, including a Final Four played in Minneapolis, with the third overall pick. Laettner would have a solid rookie season averaging 18.2 ppg and 8.7 rebounds per game. However, the T-Wolves would continue to struggle as they finished in fifth place with a terrible record of 19-63.
1993/94: Minnesota host All-Star Weekend as Timberwolves rookie Isaiah Rider steals the show winning the Slam Dunk Contest with a show-stopping dunk that brought the Target Center to their feet. Rider would have a solid rookie season finishing second on the team in scoring with 16.6 ppg. However, the Timberwolves would continue to struggle to finish in fifth place with a terrible 20-62 record. Following the season, the Timberwolves are nearly sold to a group of investors that would have moved the team to New Orleans, despite stellar attendance at the Target Center. However, the NBA Board of Governors vetoed the sale, and new Owner Glen Taylor promised to keep the team in Minneapolis.
1994/95: The Timberwolves continue to struggle finishing in last place with a miserable record of 21-61 as they set a dubious record in becoming the first team ever to lose 60 or more games in four straight seasons. At season’s end, former Boston Celtics star Kevin McHale took over as the Timberwolves basketball operations, replacing retiring General Manager Jack McCloskey. McHale got to work quickly, as he made a bold selection in the Draft, taking high school star Kevin Garnett with the fifth overall pick.
1995/96: With the selection of Kevin Garnett, changes were abound for the Timberwolves as Christian Laettner is traded along with Sean Rooks to the Atlanta Hawks for Andrew Lang and Spud Webb. The trade paved the way for rookie Kevin Garnett to become the go-to player inside. Garnett would go on to average 10.4 ppg in his rookie season as the T-Wolves finished in fifth place with a 26-56 record.
1996/97: The Timberwolves enter the season with a new look and a new attitude as they replace their tame looking logo with a more ferocious-looking Timberwolf. In addition, the T-Wolves would find another star player in the draft as they select Stephon Marbury, the fourth overall pick. The addition of Marbury would have a positive effect on the entire team, as Kevin Garnett and Tom Gugliotta became the first Wolves to be selected to the All-Star team. Gugliotta and Garnett would lead the Timberwolves in scoring as the team made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history with a record of 40-42. However, in the playoffs, the Timberwolves would make a quick exit as the Houston Rockets sweep them in three straight games.
1997/98: Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury continue to establish themselves as two of the brightest rising stars in the NBA as Garnett averages 18.5 ppg while pulling down 9.6 rebounds per game. In comparison, Marbury averages 17.7 ppg, and dishes out 8.6 assists per game. Despite losing leading scorer Tom Gugliotta for half the season, the Timberwolves would go on to post their first winning season at 45-37, making the playoffs for the second straight season. After dropping Game 1 on the road to the Seattle Supersonics in the playoffs, the Timberwolves would earn their first postseason win in Game 2, winning in Seattle 98-93. As the series shifted to Minnesota, the Timberwolves would have an opportunity to pull off the upset as they won Game 3 by a score of 98-90. However, the Wolves would drop Game 4 at home as the Sonics went on to win the series in five games.
1998/99: A year after signing Kevin Garnett to an unprecedented six-year $126 million contract, the Timberwolves are used as the poster child if irresponsible spending as the NBA endures a four-month lockout that wipes out the season. With an already cap heavy payroll, the Wolves are forced to let Tom Gugliotta walk away and trade Stephon Marbury, fearing both would seek similar deals to Garnett. In the three-team midseason deal that sent Marbury to the New Jersey Nets, the T-Wolves would get Terrell Brandon in return. Despite the instability, the Wolves would make the playoffs for the third straight season by finishing in fourth place with a 25-25 record. In the playoffs, the Timberwolves would make another quick exit as the San Antonio Spurs beat them in four games.
1999/00: Led by Kevin Garnett, who averages 22.9 ppg and 11.8 rebounds per game, the Timberwolves enjoy their first 50-win season finishing in third place with a solid record of 50-32, as rookie Wally Szczerbiak has a solid season finishing third on the team in scoring with 11.6 ppg. However, in the playoffs, the Wolves would fall in the first round again, losing to the Portland Trailblazers in four games.
2000/01: The Timberwolves endure a turbulent offseason as Guard Malik Sealy is tragically killed in a car accident in the summer. Later the free-agent deal signed by Joe Smith is voided by the NBA, who rules the Timberwolves proper procedure in signing the contract. Making matters worse, the NBA stripped the T-Wolves of five draft picks and fined $3.5 million. Despite the trouble, the Wolves would make the playoffs for the fifth straight season with a 47-35 record. However, in the playoffs, the T-Wolves would be eliminated in the first round again by the San Antonio Spurs in four games.
2001/02: A year after the NBA slapped them,, the Timberwolves are able to sign Forward Joe Smith, who averages 10.7 ppg as Kevin Garnett continues to establish himself as one of the top players in the NBA with 21. ppg and 12.1 rpg, as the T-Wolves, finish in third place with a 50-32 record. However, in the playoffs, the Timberwolves would have another let down as the Dallas Mavericks sweep them in three straight games.
2002/03: Kevin Garnett has his finest season yet as he finishes second in MVP voting while averaging a solid 23.0 ppg and 13.4 rebounds per game as the Timberwolves finish in third place with a solid 51-31 record. With home-court advantage for the first time facing the three-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. After being blown out at home in Game 1, the Timberwolves had a chance to take a 3-1 series lead as they led heading into the fourth quarter of Game 4 in Los Angeles. However, the Lakers would come back to win the game on the way to winning the series in six games, as the Timberwolves were eliminated in the first round for the seventh straight year.
2003/04: Hoping to end their seven years of bad luck in the playoffs, the Timberwolves strengthened their team by acquiring Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell, and Michael Olowokandi. However, incorporating the new Wolves into the lineup was difficult at first as the Wolves only managed a 9-8 record through the end of November. In December, the Wolves began to gel losing just twice as they became serious contenders for the Midwest Division Title. With Garnett putting up a double-double almost every night the Timberwolves were among the best team’s in the NBA all year as K.G. captured his first MVP by 24.2 points and 13.9 rebounds per game, as the Timberwolves captured the best overall record in the Western Conference with a franchise-best 58-24 record. However, through success would be measured by their performance in the playoffs. After seven years of tough playoff opponents, the T-Wolves finally had home court in a series and took advantage winning the first two games against the Denver Nuggets at home. After dropping Game 3 on the road, the Timberwolves took a 3-1 series lead by holding off a last-minute run by Nuggets for an 84-82 win. The T-Wolves would finally reach the second round as they would go on to close the series in 5 games with a 102-91 victory. Things would get tougher in the second round as the Wolves faced the Sacramento Kings, a tested playoff team seeking to finally make the Finals. The Timberwolves would look shaky in Game 1 as the Kings won in Minnesota 104-98. After rebounding to take Game 2, the Wolves relied on their MVP to retake control of the series as Kevin Garnett scored 15 points in the 4th Quarter as the Wolves overcame a 10-point deficit beginning the final period to force overtime where Garnett’s shot with 10.8 seconds left was the difference in a 114-1113 victory. After losing Game 4, the series returned to Minnesota, where the Wolves beat the Kings again 86-74. However, after a poor performance in Game 6, the T-Wolves would find themselves facing their first-ever seventh game. As fate would happen, it fell on Kevin Garnett’s 28th birthday. Garnett, again and again, showed why he was the league’s MVP scoring a game-high 32 points while 21 boards as the Timberwolves advanced to the Western Conference Finals with an 83-80 victory. In the Western Conference Finals, the Timberwolves faced off against the team that once called the Minneapolis home the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers were supposed to win from the start f the season as with four sure things Hall of Famers, they were the storyline of the entire season. In Game 1, the Lakers drew first blood with a 97-89 victory. After rebounding to take Game 2, the Wolves needed to retake control of the season by winning in Los Angeles. However, the Lakers would take both games, leaving the Wolves down three games to one. The Wolves would not go down without a fight as they took Game 5 at home as Garnett scored 30 points for the first time in the series. However, in the end, the Lakers proved too strong and too playoff tested as they eliminated the Wolves in Game 6 with a 96-90 victory.
2004/05: Coming off a trip to the Western Conference Finals, great things were expected for the Timberwolves, but there were problems right from the start as Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell both expressed unhappiness about their contract status. Each would carry that unhappiness on the court and would underachieve all season as both had significant fall offs from the year before as the Wolves never quite were able to get anything going. Hovering around .500 all season, the Timberwolves seemed to be in a season-long fog as they started January by losing seven of eight games. The struggles would continue into February when Coach Flip Saunders was fired as a GM Kevin McHale stepped in to try to salvage the season. There would be no salvaging the season as the Timberwolves continued their mediocre play all season missing the playoffs for the first time since 1996 as they finished in third place in the Northwest Division with a disappointing 44-38 record.
2005/06: Coming off a disappointing season, the Timberwolves had a new coach in Dwane Casey, and some new players as Marko Jaric were acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers in a trade for Sam Cassell. Early on, the new pieces seemed to fit well as the T-Wolves got off to a solid start winning 12 of their first 18 games. However, it would not last as the Timberwolves won just three of their next 14 games. Looking to make more changes, the Wolves would deal Wally Szczerbiak, Dwayne Jones, and Michael Olowokandi, along with a future first-round draft pick to the Boston Celtics for Ricky Davis, Mark Blount, Justin Reed, Marcus Banks, and two second-round draft picks on January 26th. After the deal the Wolves would not play any better as they posted a terrible 3-11 record in February as their playoffs hopes faded away fast, as they went on to post a terrible record of 33-49, finishing in fourth place in the Northwest Division while missing the playoffs for the second straight season.
2006/07: Kevin Garnett continued to be a lone wolf, as the Timberwolves did not have much talent around him. One deal that did not work out was the draft-day trade with the Portland Trail Blazers, as they swapped picks sending Brandon Roy to Portland in exchange for Randy Foye. While Foye struggled in his rookie season, Roy would excel, winning the NBA Rookie of the Year. Kevin Garnett would continue to express his dissatisfaction with the Wolves, as he was having another solid season. Still, it was going unrewarded, as the team struggled with mediocrity, as every strong stretch was met with an equal or greater losing streak as they held a 20-20 record when Coach Dwane Casey was fired and replaced with Randy Wittman. The coaching change would not work out was Timberwolves played worse under their new coach, as they ended the season with a terrible 32-50, missing the playoffs for the third straight season. Following the season the Timberwolves, would follow threw on a promise, trading Kevin Garnett, the team’s franchise player to the Boston Celtics for Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, two first-round draft picks, and cash considerations. This is the largest combination of players and picks ever traded for a single player in NBA history. The trade of K.G. was not the only deal the T-Wolves would make in the off-season, as Mike James and Justin Reed were shipped to the Houston Rockets for Juwan Howard, who would be released before playing a single game in Minnesota. They would also trade Ricky Davis and Mark Blount to the Miami Heat in exchange for the Heat’s Antoine Walker, Michael Doleac, Wayne Simien, and a draft pick, as the General Manager Kevin McHale completely tore down the team to start from scratch.
2007/08: The key player the Timberwolves received in return from the Boston Celtics in the Kevin Garnett trade would be Al Jefferson, who would do his best to fill the big shoes left by K.G., who for dozen years had been the T-Wolves franchise player. However, although Jefferson had a successful first season in Minnesota with 21 ppg and 11.2 rebounds per game, the void left by Garnett was too hard for the Timberwolves to overcome as they got off to a terrible start with a 5-34 record in their first 39 games. In the second half, the Timberwolves would play slightly more competitive as they escaped last place, as they posted a record of 22-60 while finishing in fourth place in the Northwest Division.
2008/09: Al Jefferson continued to be the lone bright spot on an otherwise bleak team in Minnesota, as the Timberwolves continued to struggle, losing 15 of their first 19 games when Coach Randy Whitman was fired. Replacing Whitman would be the man who hired him, as Kevin McHale was stripped of his General Manager duties and named head coach on December 8th. With McHale on the bench, the Timberwolves continued to struggle as they lost 13 straight games and sat with an awful 4-23 record on Christmas. A day after Christmas, the Wolves ended their losing streak with a solid 120-107 win over the New York Knicks on the road. After entering the New Year with a 6-25 record, the Wolves started January on a strong note, winning their first five games in 2009, as they won 10 of 12 games. However, it would not last as the Timberwolves again went into a prolonged slump, as Al Jefferson suffered a season ended knee injury on February 8th as the Wolves went on to lose 18 of 20 games, which included an 11 game losing streak. The Wolves would go on to finish the season with a miserable 24-58 record that saw them land in fourth place in the Northwest Division. Following the season, Kevin McHale is dismissed as the Timberwolves shake-up is completed with Kurt Rambis being named as the team’s new coach.
2009/10: The Kurt Rambis era started with a dramatic home win, as the Timberwolves rallied to beat the New Jersey Nets 95-93 at the Target Center, with Johnny Flynn scoring 13 points in the 4th quarter, as Damien Wilkins tip at the buzzer was the game-winner. The dramatic season-opening win, which featured a 19 point comeback, would be the only win for a while as the Wolves lost their next 15 games; coincidently, the Nets would lose their first 18 games. The Timberwolves meanwhile was not much better, losing 21 of their first 24 games. The Wolves would not win two straight games until Christmas when they beat the Nets in a rematch on the road December 23rd and beat the reeling Washington Wizards at home the day after Christmas to sit at 7-24. The losing ways would continue as the Christmas Lights came down as the T-Wolves dropped 14 of 16 games. As January turned into February, the Wolves showed some life at last with a four-game winning streak, including a 117-108 road win over the Dallas Mavericks. That would be the last life the Timberwolves would show, as they would only win two of their final 30 games, posting a miserable 15-67 record that matched the worst mark in franchise history.
2010/11: Coming off a miserable 15-67 season, not much was expected from the Timberwolves as they continued to search for a new identity after the Kevin Garnett trade. Al Jefferson, the best player the Wolves, received back in the deal, was traded during the off-season to the Utah Jazz for Kosta Koufos and a draft pick. It was a busy off-season for the Timberwolves, as they acquired Michael Beasley from the Miami Heat, for two second-round picks, while Martell Webster was picked up from the Portland Trail Blazers for the draft rights to Luke Babbitt and Ryan Gomes. In the Free Agent market, the Wolves picked up Luke Ridnour and Anthony Tolliver. The Wolves would start the season with frustrating 117-116 loss at home to the Sacramento Kings. Two days later, with Michael Beasley leading the way, the Wolves would earn their first win against the Milwaukee Bucks. There would be few wins in November, but the month would be highlighted by great individual performances as Michael Beasley scored 42 points in a November 10th win against the Kings on the road, while Kevin Love scored 31 points with 31 rebounds, setting a new franchise record in a 112-103 win at home over the New York Knicks on November 12th. It marked the first 30-30 game in the NBA in 28 years. Love would have a breakout season for the Timberwolves, posting a double-double in 53 straight games, which was the longest streak since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976. Kevin Love is becoming the face of the franchise the Timberwolves have been looking for, became an All-Star for the first time while being named the NBA’s Most Improved Player. Love would end the season with 20.8 points per game and an NBA best 15.2 rebounds per game, for the first 20-15 season since Moses Malone in 1983. Despite the stellar season from Kevin Love, the Timberwolves continued to be one of the worst teams in the NBA as they went on to finish with the worst record in the NBA at 17-65. Following the season, the Timberwolves would fire Coach Kurt Rambis and replace him with Rick Adelman.
2011/12: New Coach Rick Adelman had helped turn teams around in the past as he had led the Portland Trailblazers to two NBAA Finals in the ’90s while helping to make the Sacramento Kings an elite team in the 2000s. With Kevin Love established as an NBA All-Star, the Wolves began to fill in some pieces as they signed Guard J.J. Barea, who was a key part of leading the Dallas Mavericks to an NBA Championship. The Timberwolves also reached a deal with the 2009 draft pick Ricky Rubio, who had previously, chose to stay in Spain. Despite the additions, the Timberwolves struggled early, losing their first three games as they started the season by losing seven of their first ten games. However, in the second half of January, the Wolves began to turn things around, as they closed in on .500, ending the month with a record of 10-11. One of the reasons for the Timberwolves turnaround as Ricky Rubio, who was in the early Rookie of the Year conversation, averaging 10.6 ppg and a team-high 8.2 assists per game. The Wolves continued to play well into March, as Kevin Love had another strong season posting a team-best 26 ppg, while also leading the team with 13.3 rebounds per game. Love was also one of the league’s best long-distance shooters, as he won the Three-Point Contest on All-Star Weekend in Orlando. The Timberwolves were above .500 and in the thick of the playoff race until March 16th, when Ricky Rubio suffered a season-ending knee injury. After the loss of Rubio, the Wolves could not get back on track as they struggled the rest of the way, losing 13 of their 14 games finishing the season with a record of 26-40.
2012/13: The Timberwolves suffered an early setback when Kevin Love suffered a fractured hand while working out in the pre-season. Originally expected to miss six weeks, Love was able to get back into action on November 21st. Without Love, the Wolves played well early, winning five of their first seven games. The Timberwolves got an early boost from Brandon Roy, who was attempting a comeback from a series of knee injuries. However, Roy’s return lasted just five games before his knees gave out again. When Kevin Love returned, he had trouble finding his scoring touch, shooting just 21.7% from the field as the Timberwolves threaded water for the first two months, holding a 14-13 record at the end of December. During a 101-97 win over the Denver Nuggets on January 3rd, Kevin Love re-injured his shooting hand. The injury to Love would send the Timberwolves into a tailspin as they posted a 5-23 record over the next two months without their marquee player. Kevin Love would return in March, but the season would be lost as the Timberwolves posted a disappointing record of 31-51, missing the playoffs for the ninth straight season. One bright spot for the Timberwolves was the play of Nikola Pekovic, who had a breakout season with 16.3 points per game and 8.8 rebounds per game.
2013/14: With Kevin Love leading the way, the Timberwolves got off to a terrific start, winning five of their first seven games. However, early on, the future of Kevin Love in Minnesota soon began to cloud the Timberwolves season as he refused to commit to a long term deal and expressed a desire to pursue free agency and possibly play on the West Coast. Part of Love’s frustration was the lack of talent around him on the rest of the team, as the Wolves again were stuck at .500 at 9-9 at the end of November. A planned game in Mexico City would go up in smoke for the Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs on December 4th as the air quality was too poor to play. The Wolves would surf .500 over the next two months, which would have been fine in the East, but had them on the outside looking in the Western Conference. The Timberwolves would remain at or near .500 the entire season and ended the year at 40-42, missing the playoffs for a tenth straight season. Following the season, Coach Rick Adelman would announce his retirement, as General Manager Flip Saunders became the Wolves new coach assuming a role he held during the Timberwolves’ most successful period. However, despite the return of Saunders to the bench, the Timberwolves were forced to part ways with Kevin Love as the threat of losing him to free agency outweighed his value on the court. The Wolves would send Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team deal that also involved the Philadelphia 76ers. The Timberwolves would get Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett the first overall picks in 2013 and 2014 in return. In his final season in Minnesota, Kevin Love has another All-Star season leading the team with 26.1 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.
2014/15: It was a time for new beginnings and old familiar faces for the Minnesota Timberwolves as President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders took over the coaching duties. Saunders had been the coach during the Timberwolves’ best seasons, taking them to the Western Conference Finals in 2004. The Wolves though had not been to the playoffs since, and frustration was mounting. The mounting frustration included Kevin Love, a pending free agent who requested a trade to a contender. Kevin Love would eventually be sent to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of a multi-team blockbuster, also involving the Philadelphia 76ers. In return, the Timberwolves got #1 overall pick Andrew Wiggings, Anthony Bennett, who was the first pick in 2013 along with Thaddeus Young, with the Sixers receiving Alexey Shved, Luc Mbah a Moute, and a 2015 first-round pick as part of the deal. After starting the season with a 105-101 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Timberwolves beat the Detroit Pistons 97-91 in their home opener. Success did not follow for Minnesota, as the Wolves quickly found themselves among the worst teams in the NBA. Between November 30th and January 13th, the Timberwolves won just one of 22 games, with an extended 15 game losing streak along the way. While the Timberwolves took their lumps, a pair of 19-year-old rookies provided enough excitement to capture the fans’ attention. Andrew Wiggins, acquired in the Love trade, showed just why he was the number one overall pick, with 16.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game on the way to winning Rookie of the Year. While high flying, Zach Levine provided excitement, with 10.1 points per game, as he won the Slam Dunk Contest at the All-Star Weekend in Brooklyn. Looking for veteran leadership the Timberwolves, again turned to the past acquiring Kevin Garnett from the Brooklyn Nets for Thaddeus Young. K.G. received a thunderous ovation upon his return to Minnesota, scoring five points as the Wolves beat the Washington Wizards 97-77 at Target Center. However, due to injuries, Garnett would play just five games, but by signing a two-year deal, the former MVP who helped bring legitimacy to the Timberwolves 20 years earlier committed to being a mentor to the “Bounce Brothers Wiggins and Levine. The Timberwolves would end the season on a sour note, losing their last 12 games, which had them finish with the worst record in the NBA at 16-66. The losing streak did have a ray of sunshine as it enabled Minnesota to win the draft lottery and select Karl Anthony-Towns, a seven-foot center out of Kentucky, who was himself just 19-years old.
2015/16: As the young Minnesota Timberwolves prepared for the season, tragic news would strike them at their very heart, as Coach Flip Saunders lost his battle with cancer. On August 11th Saunders announced he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A month later, Owner Glen Taylor announced Sam Mitchell would coach the team as Saunders had complications during treatment. As the start of the season approached, Flip Saunders died at the age of 60 on October 25th. The news hit Kevin Garnett, especially hard. Garnett was entering his final season in the NBA as he looked to tutors 2015 Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins and 2016 number one overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns. It would not take long for Towns to establish himself as one of the league’s top big men, as he scored 14 points with 12 boards as the Timberwolves opened the season with a 112-111 road win against the Los Angeles Lakers. Karl-Anthony Towns would go on to average a double-double with 18.3 points and 10.5 rebounds per game as he was the unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year. In marked the first time in over 40 years, a team had back-to-back Rookie of the Year award winners in the NBA. The Timberwolves began to show promise with a solid core group of young talented players, with a record four players under the age of 20, as Wiggins and Towns were joined by Zach LaVine and Tyus Jones. Andrew Wiggins was the Timberwolves leading scorer with 20.7 ppg, while LaVine won the Slam Dunk Contest for a second straight season and 14.0 points per game. Tyrus Jones was more of a project and split the season between Minnesota and the D-League. On the side of the spectrum was 40-year old Kevin Garnett in his 21st season, provided veteran leadership as he managed just 3.2 points per game. The young Wolves had their growing pains as they managed a record of 29-53, which still was a significant improvement from the previous year’s 16-66 record. After the season, the Timberwolves would announce Tom Thibodeau as their new coach.
2016/17: Hoping to end their long playoff drought, the Minnesota Timberwolves hired Tom Thibodeau to be their new coach. Thibodeau, a former Coach of the Year, is one of the most highly respected game managers in the NBA. The Timberwolves had a young talented team with back-to-back Rookie of the Year winners but still lacked the pieces around Andre Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns to be a contender as they got off to a 5-13 start. Minnesota showed signs of life in December and January but could never get back into playoff contention. However, a four-game losing streak at the start of February erased any lingering hope the T-Wolves may have had. The Timberwolves would go on to finish the season with a record of 31-51. It was the 13th straight season the Timberwolves missed the playoffs the second-longest drought in NBA history.
2017/18: For the first time in a very, very long time the Minnesota Timberwolves showed some promise heading into an NBA season. In the offseason, the Timberwolves made some very big splashes as they acquired Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. The trade was a draft day blockbuster deal that shook the NBA community. With coach Tom Thibodeau leading the team, the Timberwolves looked to make a postseason push. The Timberwolves started out hot, winning 10 of their first 15 games. The Timberwolves got contributions from unexpected sources such as Tyus Jones and Taj Gibson. The Timberwolves played very well and were on pace to make the playoffs for the first time in 14 years. Once the mid-February All Star break happened, the Timberwolves struggled mightily as their playoff hopes began to take a hit. As the season came to an end, Minnesota still had a chance of making as the eighth seed. It came down to the final three games of the season. The Timberwolves had to win each of the three games against the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, and most of all the Denver Nuggets. The Timberwolves handled the Lakers and the Grizzlies very easily as the season came down to beating the Nuggets in the final game of the season. The Nuggets and Timberwolves were tied with the same record with game 82 at Target Center going to be the difference maker. It was a very competitive, tight game which went into overtime. The Timberwolves ended up winning the game 112-106 and making the NBA Western Conference playoffs as an eight seed with a record of 47-35. In the clincher Jimmy Butler led the way with 31 points, he finished the season with a team high 22.2 points per game, while Karl-Anthony Towns finished with 21.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.
Written by Liam Collins
2019 Playoffs: The Minnesota Timberwolves played the number one overall seed Houston Rockets in the playoffs. The Timberwolves did not make much push, losing the series in five games. The Rockets took the opener 104-101 and took a 2-0 lead with 102-82 win in Game 2. As the series shifted to Minnesota, the Wolves got a 121-105 win in Game 3. The Rockets would pull away with a 119-100 win in Game 4 and eliminated the Timberwolves with a 122-104 win in Game 5.
Written by Liam Collins
2018/19: After ending a 14-year playoff drought, the Minnesota Timberwolves were looking to build for bigger and better things as they gave star center Karl Anthony-Towns a five year, $190 million contract extension. Jimmy Butler did not seem to have the same vision as he demanded to be traded to one of three teams. With Butler’s trade demand hanging over the team, the Timberwolves stumbled out of the gate and sat at 4-9 when the traded their All-Star to the Philadelphia 76ers on November 12th. Minnesota sent Butler and Justin Patton to the Sixers, receiving Jerry Bayless, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and a 2022 second-round draft pick in return. With Karl-Anthony Towns leading the way, the Timberwolves played well after the trade, winning seven of nine games to get back to .500 at the end of November. After scuffling in December, the Timberwolves went into the New Year with a record of 17-20. On January 6th, the Timberwolves decided to make another change as coach Tom Thibodeau was fired. Replacing Tibs was Ryan Saunders, the son of Flip Saunders, the most successful coach in team history. Minnesota has some initial success under Saunders and again got back to .500. Though that was not nearly enough to keep the Timberwolves in playoff contention. Over the last three months, the Wolves struggled on the road, winning just three games away from Target Center, as they posted a record of 36-46. Karl-Anthony Towns was the lone bright spot at times, leading the Timberwolves with 24.4 points and 12.4 rebounds per game.
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Page created on May 22, 2003. Last updated on April 13, 2020, at 11:45 pm ET.