The MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES are an American professional basketball
team based in Minneapolis,
Like most expansion teams , the Timberwolves struggled in their early
years, but after the acquisition of
* 1 Franchise history
* 1.1 Team creation * 1.2 1989–1995: The early years
* 1.3 1995–2007: The
* 1.3.1 2003–04 season * 1.3.2 The departure of Flip Saunders
* 1.6 2014–present: The Wiggins and Towns era
* 1.6.1 Arrival of Tom Thibodeau
* 2 Logos and uniforms * 3 Mascot * 4 Arenas * 5 Seasons and records
* 6 Personnel
* 6.1 Current roster * 6.2 Retired numbers * 6.3 Retained draft rights * 6.4 Franchise leaders
* 7 Management
* 7.1 Radio * 7.2 Television * 7.3 Head coaches
* 8 References * 9 External links
NBA basketball returned to the
Twin Cities in 1989 for the first time
1989–1995: THE EARLY YEARS
The Timberwolves debuted on November 3, 1989, losing to the Seattle
SuperSonics on the road 106–94. Five days later, they made their
home debut at the
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome , losing to the Chicago
Bulls 96–84. Two nights later on November 10, the Wolves got their
first win, beating the
The next season , the team moved into their permanent home, the Target Center , and improved somewhat, finishing 29–53. However, they fired their head coach, Bill Musselman . They fared far worse in the 1991–92 NBA season under Musselman's successor, ex-Celtics coach Jimmy Rodgers , finishing with an NBA-worst 15–67 record. Looking to turn the corner, the Wolves hired former Detroit Pistons general manager Jack McCloskey to the same position, but even with notable first-round selections such as Christian Laettner and Isaiah Rider , the Timberwolves were unable to duplicate McCloskey's "Detroit Bad Boys" success in the Twin Cities, finishing 19–63 and 20–62 the next two seasons. One of the few highlights from that era was when the Target Center served as host of the 1994 All-Star Game where Rider won the Slam Dunk Contest with his between-the-leg "East Bay Funk Dunk".
As winning basketball continued to elude the Wolves, Ratner and Wolfenson nearly sold the team to New Orleans interests in 1994 before NBA owners rejected the proposed move. Eventually, Glen Taylor bought the team and named Kevin McHale general manager. The Wolves finished 21–61 in 1994–95, and the future looked bleak.
1995–2007: THE KEVIN GARNETT ERA
1995 NBA draft , the Timberwolves selected high school
In 1996, the Wolves added another star player in the draft, trading
Ray Allen to the
Milwaukee Bucks for the rights to
Stephon Marbury ,
the 4th overall pick. The addition of Marbury had a positive effect on
the entire team, as Garnett and Gugliotta became the first Wolves to
be selected to the
All-Star team. Gugliotta and Garnett led 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 made a quick exit as they were swept by the
Houston Rockets in three straight games. The T-Wolves also decided to
change their image by changing their team logo and color scheme,
adding black to the team colors and replacing the original logo with
one featuring a snarling wolf looming over a field of trees. It was
also during this season that
In 1997, Garnett and Marbury established themselves as two of the
brightest rising stars in the NBA . Garnett averaged 18.5 ppg and 9.6
rebounds per game, while Marbury averaged 17.7 ppg and dished out 8.6
assists per game. Despite losing leading scorer
Tom Gugliotta for half
the season, the Timberwolves went on to post their first winning
season at 45–37, making the playoffs for the second straight season.
After dropping Game 1 of the playoffs on the road to the Seattle
SuperSonics , the Timberwolves won their first postseason game in Game
2, winning in
In 1998, a year after signing
In 1999, the Timberwolves drafted Wally Szczerbiak with the sixth pick in the draft. He had a solid season, finishing third on the team in scoring with 11.6 points per game. Led by Kevin Garnett, who averaged 22.9 points per game and 11.8 rebounds per game, the Timberwolves had their first 50-win season and finished in 3rd place with a record of 50–32. However, in the playoffs the Wolves again fell in the first round, losing to the Portland Trail Blazers in four games. The Wolves opened the 1999–2000 regular season with two home games against the Sacramento Kings at the Tokyo Dome on November 6th and 7th.
In the summer of 2000, guard Malik Sealy was killed in a car accident by drunk driver Souksangouane Phengsene, who was driving the wrong way down the freeway. Sealy's number has since been retired: the number 2 jersey memorialized with Sealy's name on a banner hanging from the rafters of Target Center. The drunk driver was convicted of vehicular homicide and sentenced to four years in prison. He was previously arrested for drunk driving in Iowa in 1997 and has since been arrested twice more for driving while intoxicated, in 2006 and 2008.
Also in that season, a free agent deal signed by Joe Smith was voided by the NBA, who ruled that the Timberwolves violated proper procedure in signing the contract. The league stripped the Timberwolves of five draft picks (first round 2001–05), but it was eventually reduced to three first-round picks (2001, 2002, and 2004). The league also fined the Timberwolves $3.5 million and suspended general manager Kevin McHale for one year. Smith eventually signed with the Detroit Pistons before re-signing with the Timberwolves in 2001. Despite those setbacks, the Timberwolves made the playoffs for the fifth straight season with a 47–35 record. In the playoffs, the Timberwolves were eliminated in the first round again by the San Antonio Spurs in four games in the spring of 2001.
With the arrival of newcomers
Gary Trent ,
Loren Woods and Maurice
Evans and the return of Joe Smith , the Timberwolves started the
season by winning their first six games and a franchise-best 30–10
start. The Timberwolves had a franchise record 53-point win over
Chicago in November. They finished with a 50–32 record: their second
ever 50-win season that was highlighted by another
by Garnett and a breakout season by
Wally Szczerbiak , who earned his
All-Star appearance. Once again,
The 2002–03 season seemed to look up for the Timberwolves. Garnett had a great season where he finished second in MVP voting with 23.0 points per game and 13.4 rebounds per game and the Timberwolves finished in third place with a 51–31 record. As a result, they were awarded home court advantage for the first time when 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 heading into the 4th quarter of Game 4 in Los Angeles, but the Lakers came back to win the game and eventually won the series in six games. In the end, the Timberwolves were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the seventh straight year.
In 2003, the Timberwolves made two strong off-season moves, trading away forward Joe Smith and injured guard Terrell Brandon in a multi-player deal for Ervin Johnson , Sam Cassell and embattled guard Latrell Sprewell .
2003–04 NBA season , the Timberwolves became the team to
beat in the Western Conference. They finished the season as the top
seed in the Western Conference with a record of 58–24, and beat the
The Departure Of Flip Saunders
In the 2004–05 season , the Wolves kept the same team from the previous season. The team was plagued with contract disputes and the complaining of key players Latrell Sprewell , Sam Cassell , and Troy Hudson . Coach Flip Saunders was replaced in mid-season by GM Kevin McHale , who took over the team for the rest of the season. The Timberwolves finished 44–38, and missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years, by one game, to the Memphis Grizzlies .
During the 2005 offseason, McHale and the Wolves started their search for a head coach. McHale interviewed Seattle SuperSonics assistant coach Dwane Casey , San Antonio Spurs assistant P. J. Carlesimo , former coach John Lucas and Wolves assistants Randy Wittman , Sidney Lowe and Jerry Sichting , among others.
On June 17, 2005, the Timberwolves hired Casey as the new head coach. It was Casey's first head coaching job, making him the Wolves' seventh head coach in their 16-year history.
In the 2005 draft , the Timberwolves selected Rashad McCants , a shooting guard from North Carolina with the 14th overall pick of the first round. The Timberwolves also selected Bracey Wright , a guard from Indiana , with the 17th pick of the second round (47th overall).
During the offseason, they traded All-Star Sam Cassell and a protected future first-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Clippers for Marko Jarić and Lionel Chalmers . They also signed free agent Nikoloz Tskitishvili .
On January 26, 2006, the Wolves traded forward
Wally Szczerbiak ,
centers Dwayne Jones and
Michael Olowokandi , and a future first-round
draft pick to the
2006 NBA draft , the Timberwolves selected future NBA Rookie
of the Year
Brandon Roy with the 6th overall pick, Craig Smith with
the 36th pick, forward Bobby Jones with the 37th pick and center
Loukas Mavrokefalidis with the 57th pick. The Timberwolves traded Roy
Portland Trail Blazers for
Randy Foye and cash considerations.
The Timberwolves then traded Bobby Jones to the
On January 23, McHale fired head coach Casey and replaced him with Randy Wittman . McHale explained in a news conference that it was inconsistency by Casey that led to the firing. Casey had compiled an overall record of 53–69. They finished the 2006–07 season with a record of 32–50, allowing them to keep their 2007 first-round pick.
2007–2010: POST–KEVIN GARNETT ERA
On July 31, 2007, the
That summer, the Timberwolves traded Mike James and Justin Reed to the Houston Rockets for Juwan Howard . In October of the same year, the Timberwolves waived Howard after reaching a contractual buyout agreement, worth $10 million of roughly $14.25 million which Minnesota would have owed him. The team also traded Ricky Davis and Mark Blount to the Miami Heat in exchange for the Heat's Antoine Walker , Michael Doleac , Wayne Simien , and a 2008 protected first-round draft pick.
2007 NBA draft the Timberwolves selected
Corey Brewer , with
the 7th pick, and Chris Richard with the 41st overall pick, both being
from the two-time
In the 2008 NBA draft , the Timberwolves selected O. J. Mayo of USC with the third overall pick. When the draft concluded, the Timberwolves traded Mayo, Antoine Walker , Greg Buckner , and Marko Jarić to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for fifth overall pick Kevin Love , Mike Miller , Jason Collins , and Brian Cardinal in a move that Jim Stack called, "a deal we couldn’t pass up."
In 2008, in celebration of the franchise's 20th anniversary, the team unveiled an updated version of its logo and uniforms. The new designs first appeared in the first preseason game against the Chicago Bulls at United Center on October 14, 2008. They also refurbished the floor at Target Center , returning to the traditional floor pattern and added touches of varnish while exposing most of the hardwood.
On December 8, 2008, after a 23-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers that dropped the team to 4–15, the Timberwolves fired head coach Wittman and McHale took over. McHale also relinquished his vice president of basketball operations duties. It was unclear whether McHale's future with the team was dependent on the success or progress of the team which he had put together over the previous four years.
Those questions seemed to be answered when the Timberwolves went 10–4 for the month of January, giving McHale the coach of the month honors. But on February 8, 2009, the team's main star Al Jefferson tore his ACL in his right knee in a game at New Orleans , sidelining him for the rest of the season. At the time of the injury, Jefferson was having his best season to date, averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks. Without Jefferson and Corey Brewer (who also suffered a season-ending injury), the Wolves sputtered, to finish with a 24–58 record. Kevin Love became the fifth Timberwolves player to be named NBA All-Star .
On June 17, 2009, new president of basketball operations David Kahn announced that McHale would not be returning to the team as head coach. Kahn did not give a specific reason for McHale's dismissal, only saying "this is going to be a transition period." For his part, McHale said he wanted to come back but was not offered a contract. Later, in August, the Timberwolves announced the signing of Kurt Rambis , then an assistant for the Los Angeles Lakers , to a four-year, $8 million contract to be their new head coach. In Rambis's first season, the team stumbled to the second-worst record in the league, as their 15–67 record was only surpassed by that of the New Jersey Nets , who finished at 12–70.
2010–2014: THE KEVIN LOVE ERA
On July 12, 2010,
On February 21, 2011,
Corey Brewer and
Kosta Koufos were traded to
New York Knicks and
On the downside, with a 121–102 loss to the Houston Rockets, the Timberwolves fell to 17–65, finishing last in the Western Conference for the second straight year. They also clinched the 2010–11 NBA season 's worst record. During the offseason, the Timberwolves were finally able to bring 2009 fifth overall pick Ricky Rubio over from Spain. In the 2011 NBA draft , with the second overall pick, the Timberwolves selected Derrick Williams of Arizona . The Timberwolves then traded guard Jonny Flynn and the draft rights to Donatas Motiejūnas (No. 20) to the Houston Rockets for center Brad Miller , the draft rights to Nikola Mirotić (No. 23), Chandler Parsons (No. 38) and a future first-round pick. The Timberwolves traded Mirotic's rights to the Chicago Bulls for the rights to Norris Cole (No. 28) and Malcolm Lee (No. 43). The Timberwolves then sold the rights to Parsons back to the Rockets. The Timberwolves traded Norris Cole (No. 28) to the Miami Heat for the draft rights to Bojan Bogdanovic (No. 31), a future second-round pick and cash considerations. The Timberwolves then traded Bogdanovic's rights to the New Jersey Nets for a future second-rounder and cash. The Trail Blazers traded the draft rights to Tanguy Ngombo (No. 57) to the Timberwolves.
On July 12, 2011, Kurt Rambis was fired as coach of the team after compiling a 32–132 record in two seasons with the team. On September 13, 2011, the team announced that they had hired Rick Adelman to be the team's new head coach.
The Timberwolves began the
2011–12 NBA season with a 17–17 record
All-Star break. On March 9, 2012, Rubio tore his left ACL
and LCL in a collision with
On June 26, 2012, the Timberwolves selected
Robbie Hummel with the
58th overall pick, the team's only selection during the draft. During
the offseason, the team signed former Timberwolves draft pick Brandon
Roy to a two-year, $10 million contract. The deal was announced on
July 31. With the inclusion of Roy in the shooting guard position,
players that also signed during the offseason included Andrei
Alexey Shved and
Louis Amundson . While technically in
playoff contention early, multiple injuries began to plague the team.
Roy, Budinger, Lee and free agent signing
Josh Howard succumbed to
knee injuries. The mood of despair was shortly lifted by the splashy
return of Rubio. But not long after, Love, who missed the first nine
games of the season after fracturing the third and fourth metacarpals
in his right hand in a preseason home workout, suffered a recurrence
of the injury in a win over the
On March 28, 2014, the Timberwolves set a franchise record for points in a regular season game with a 143-107 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. The win also marked the Timberwolves' first season-series win over the Lakers since the 2005–06 season. The team accumulated 40 wins for the first time since the 2005 season, but missed the playoffs for the tenth consecutive year. On April 21, 2014, Rick Adelman announced his retirement from coaching in the NBA. Adelman acquired a 97-133 record in three seasons with the team.
2014–PRESENT: THE WIGGINS AND TOWNS ERA
Kevin Garnett's first game back with the Timberwolves in 2015.
On August 23, 2014, the Timberwolves,
Cleveland Cavaliers , and
The 2014–15 season marked a new era for the Timberwolves, beginning with the Kevin Love trade. Flip Saunders was promoted to head coach, making it his second stint with the Timberwolves after coaching the team from 1995 to 2005. The Timberwolves started the new season with a 105-101 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies , with Wiggins making his debut. The team recorded its first win the following game, a 97-91 victory over the Detroit Pistons . On November 12, 2014, the Timberwolves played a "home" game at Mexico City Arena against the Houston Rockets . However, the Timberwolves had a 16-66 record and missed the playoffs for the 11th consecutive year.
Despite this, Wiggins was selected as the NBA Rookie of the Year , the first player in franchise history to be so honored. Draft pick Zach LaVine gained league notoriety after winning the Slam Dunk Contest . LaVine and Wiggins, dubbed "The Bounce Brothers", were seen as being the future of the franchise.
Due to having the worst record in the NBA for the 2014–15 season, the Timberwolves had the highest chance, at 25%, to receive the first pick in the 2015 NBA draft at the 2015 NBA draft lottery. On May 19, the Timberwolves received the first overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft for the first time in franchise history. On June 25, the Timberwolves selected Karl-Anthony Towns as the number one pick and acquired Tyus Jones through a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers .
The 2015 season also saw the return of Kevin Garnett. In February,
Garnett, at the time with the
Brooklyn Nets , waived his no-trade
clause to enable a trade back to
On June 6, 2014, Saunders was named the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, returning to the franchise for a second stint. During his second stint with the Timberwolves, Saunders was diagnosed with Hodgkin\'s lymphoma . As a result, during his recovery, he would delegate his coaching position over to assistant coach and former NBA Coach of the Year winner Sam Mitchell . On October 25, 2015, Saunders died at age 60. Mitchell took over as head coach. In honor of Saunders, the team announced that they would wear a patch reading "FLIP" on their uniforms for the duration of the 2015–16 season.
Arrival Of Tom Thibodeau
On April 20, 2016, the Timberwolves agreed to sign
Tom Thibodeau to
be their head coach and president of basketball operations. He was
previously an assistant coach for the team from 1989 to 1991. On
September 23, 2016,
On June 22, 2017, the Timberwolves acquired Jimmy Butler and the 16th overall pick in the 2017 draft in trade for Zach Lavine, Kris Dunn and the 7th overall pick in the draft (used to select Lauri Markkanen ). Later that night, the Timberwolves selected center Justin Patton with the 16th overall pick in the draft. Later, the team added Taj Gibson , Jeff Teague , and Jamal Crawford during free agency.
LOGOS AND UNIFORMS
In their inaugural season in 1989, the Timberwolves (or "Wolves" as
it said on their jerseys) debuted blue road uniforms with green
lettering and numbers with white. Their home uniforms featured blue
lettering and numbers with green outlining. The creation of both
uniforms was led by head designer, Brian Mulligan. There was going to
be a green alternate jersey with blue lettering to go with the
uniforms, but the idea was dropped. It would've followed a similar
Dallas Mavericks took when they switched back to blue in the
early 1990s, opting the Wolves a chance to use green for a jersey
color instead. After drafting
Crunch the Wolf
CRUNCH THE WOLF is the official mascot of the
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome 1989–1990
Target Center 1990–present
SEASONS AND RECORDS
Main article: List of Minnesota Timberwolves seasons
* v * t * e
POS. NO. NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT DOB (YYYY-MM-DD) FROM
6.0 !C 7001450000000000000♠45 Aldrich, Cole 7000210820000000000♠6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 253 lb (115 kg) 1988–10–31 Kansas
7000208279999999999♠6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
235 lb (107 kg)
1.5 !G 7001300000000000000♠30 Brooks, Aaron 7000182880000000000♠6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 161 lb (73 kg) 1985–01–14 Oregon
4.0 !F 7000300000000000000♠3 Brown, Anthony (TW) 7000200659999999999♠6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 224 lb (102 kg) 1992–10–10 Stanford
2.5 !G/F 7001230000000000000♠23 Butler, Jimmy 7000203200000000000♠6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 236 lb (107 kg) 1989–09–14 Marquette
1.5 !G 7001110000000000000♠11 Crawford, Jamal 7000195580000000000♠6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 185 lb (84 kg) 1980–03–20 Michigan
5.5 !F/C 7000500000000000000♠5 Dieng, Gorgui 7000210820000000000♠6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 251 lb (114 kg) 1990–01–18 Louisville
1.5 !G 7001130000000000000♠13 Georges-Hunt, Marcus 7000195580000000000♠6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 226 lb (103 kg) 1994–03–28 Georgia Tech
4.0 !F 7001670000000000000♠67 Gibson, Taj 7000205740000000000♠6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 235 lb (107 kg) 1985–06–24 Southern California
1.5 !G 7000100000000000000♠1 Jones, Tyus 7000187960000000000♠6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 184 lb (83 kg) 1996–05–10 Duke
4.0 !F 7001150000000000000♠15 Muhammad, Shabazz 7000198120000000000♠6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 221 lb (100 kg) 1992–11–13 UCLA
6.0 !C 7001240000000000000♠24 Patton, Justin 7000213360000000000♠7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 236 lb (107 kg) 1997–06–14 Creighton
1.5 !G 5000000000000000000♠0 Teague, Jeff 7000187960000000000♠6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 189 lb (86 kg) 1988–06–10 Wake Forest
6.0 !C 7001320000000000000♠32 Towns, Karl-Anthony 7000213360000000000♠7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 248 lb (112 kg) 1995–11–15 Kentucky
1.5 !G 7001220000000000000♠22 Wiggins, Andrew 7000203200000000000♠6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 202 lb (92 kg) 1995–02–23 Kansas
* (C) Team captain * (DP) Unsigned draft pick * (FA) Free agent * (S) Suspended * (GL) On assignment to G League affiliate * (TW) Two-way affiliate player * Injured
Roster • Transactions Last transaction: 2017–10–15
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES RETIRED NUMBERS
NO. PLAYER POSITION TENURE
2 Malik Sealy F 1999–20001
* 1 The Timberwolves retired Malik Sealy 's number after he was killed by a drunk driver in an automobile accident after the 1999–2000 season concluded. The accident happened on Kevin Garnett 's 24th birthday.
RETAINED DRAFT RIGHTS
The Timberwolves hold the draft rights to the following unsigned draft picks who have been playing outside the NBA. A drafted player, either an international draftee or a college draftee who isn't signed by the team that drafted him, is allowed to sign with any non-NBA teams. In this case, the team retains the player's draft rights in the NBA until one year after the player's contract with the non-NBA team ends. This list includes draft rights that were acquired from trades with other teams.
DRAFT ROUND PICK PLAYER POS. NATIONALITY CURRENT TEAM NOTE(S) REF
Main article: Minnesota Timberwolves accomplishments and records
Main article: List of Minnesota Timberwolves broadcasters
The flagship station for the Timberwolves Radio Network is 830 WCCO (AM) . WCCO became the team's radio home in 2011. Before that, KFAN (AM) had been the Timberwolves' Twin Cities flagship station since the team's inception, except for a brief two-year hiatus to KLCI BOB 106.1 FM for the 2006–07 and 2007–08 seasons. Alan Horton has been the team's radio play-by-play announcer since the 2007–08 season.
Main article: List of Minnesota Timberwolves head coaches
NO. NAME YEARS WON LOST WIN % GAMES POST-SEASON
1 BILL MUSSELMAN 1989 –1991 51 113 .311 164 —
2 JIMMY RODGERS 1991 –1993 21 90 .189 111 —
3 SIDNEY LOWE 1993 –1994 33 102 .244 135 —
4 BILL BLAIR 1994 –1995 27 75 .265 102 —
5 FLIP SAUNDERS 1995 –2005 , 2014–2015 427 392 .521 819 1997–2004
6 KEVIN MCHALE 2005 , 2008–2009 39 55 .415 94 —
7 DWANE CASEY 2005 –2007 53 65 .449 118 —
8 RANDY WITTMAN 2007 –2008 38 105 .266 143 —
9 KURT RAMBIS 2009 –2011 32 132 .195 164 —
10 RICK ADELMAN 2011 –2014 97 133 .422 230 —
11 SAM MITCHELL 2015–2016 29 53 .354 82 —
12 TOM THIBODEAU 2016 –present 31 51 .378 82 —
26-YEAR TOTAL 1989– 878 1366 .391 2080 1997–2004
* ^ "The Record Book".
Wikimedia Commons has media related to MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES .
* Official website
* v * t * e
* Founded in 1989 * Based in MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA
* Franchise * Expansion draft * All-time roster * Seasons * Accomplishments and records * Broadcasters * Draft history * Head coaches *