The Minnesota Timberwolves have finally put an end to their league-leading playoff drought this season when Tom Thibodeau was able to land both Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler in order to complement their already impressive young core.
Minnesota thrived for two years with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, a can’t miss talent they got with the 1st overall pick after struggling to find much talent in the first round of the draft since they got Kevin Garnett a very long time ago.
Yes, most of the Timberwolves struggle to compete came right out of the draft, as the team miserably failed with scouting and that didn’t help to make that small market an attractive destination for top-tier free agents.
If you don’t take our word for granted, why don’t we take a look at some of the questionable decisions they’ve made over the past 10 years? Showing you the top 5 Draft Mistakes by the Timberwolves over the past decade.
5. OJ Mayo (2008 NBA Draft)
OJ Mayo looked like the kind of can’t miss talent everybody wanted a piece of, being ranked as one of the most talented players in the nation ever since his high school years, and drafted 3rd overall by the Timberwolves in 2008 and immediately dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies to trade down for Kevin Love; but OJ never be able to live up to the expectations.
Mayo’s lack of discipline cost him his career due to inconsistency both on and off the hardwood, and he’s unlikely to ever suit up again after the league issued a huge suspension against him. But, what makes this move even a bigger mistake, is the fact that the Timberwolves could’ve landed Brook Lopez, DeAndre Jordan, Serge Ibaka or Russell Westbrook instead.
4. Trey Burke (2013 NBA Draft)
Following quite an impressive NCAA Tourney with Michigan, Trey Burke looked poised for NBA stardom as a scoring point guard that could light it up from downtown and be a crafty playmaker, being drafted 9th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves and the dealt to the Utah Jazz, where he would struggle to find consistency and eventually become the team’s third-string point guard.
After spending some time in the G-League, Burke finally found his way back to the league with the sluggish New York Knicks, but it’s never going to play as the top 10 prospect everybody expected him to become. Also, the Timberwolves could’ve done a lot better at 9th, passing on guys like Steven Adams, Dennis Schroder, Rudy Gobert, CJ McCollum or Giannis Antetokounmpo.
3. Derrick Williams (2011 NBA Draft)
Derrick Williams has to be one of the biggest busts in NBA Draft history, going as high as 2nd in 2011 only behind Kyrie Irving, and not even being in the league anymore after miserably failing to make an impact in both ends of the floor as a tweener big man with no range and no defensive awareness whatsoever.
Williams brought a lot of hustle and energy off the bench as a rebounder, but nothing most, and he could’ve easily been a 2nd round pick for what it’s worth. Also, they struck out big time in this Draft, as they completely wasted the 2nd overall pick instead of drafting Jonas Valanciunas, Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, Isaiah Thomas, Jimmy Butler or Kawhi Leonard.
2. Wesley Johnson (2010 NBA Draft)
Back in 2010, Wesley Johnson looked like he was going to dominate the league as an athletic forward with a lot of upside in the defensive end of the hardwood, and needless to say, he became a major disappointment as merely a role player despite being drafted as high as 4th overall by the Timberwolves.
But what makes this mistake even more blatantly ridiculous is the fact that the 2010 Draft was one of the most stacked and loaded of the decade, and the Timberwolves could’ve used that pick to land Gordon Hayward, Eric Bledsoe, Avery Bradley, Hassan Whiteside, DeMarcus Cousins or some guy named Paul George, you may have heard of him.
1. Jonny Flynn (2009 NBA Draft)
The Minnesota Timberwolves were desperately looking for a starting point guard during the 2009 Draft, so they used their 5th and 6th pick to get a couple of young playmakers that would compete for the job in Ricky Rubio and the infamous Jonny Flynn, a guy that was only able to be on the league for 4 seasons and played for 3 different teams in the meantime.
Also, they passed on DeMar DeRozan, Taj Gibson, and Danny Green to get him. Even though it’s fair to say that they didn’t strike out with Ricky Rubio as he played really well for them before heading towards the Utah Jazz, if they wanted a starting point guard, they could’ve gone with Jeff Teague, Patty Mills, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Brandon Jennings or STEPHEN “THE BEST SHOOTER EVER” CURRY instead of Flynn.