Skip to main content

Minnesota Timberwolves Missed Three Superstars By One Pick (NBA Draft 2006-2013)


The Minnesota Timberwolves have not made the playoffs since the 2003-04 NBA season, when Kevin Garnett won the MVP award. They lost against Los Angeles Lakers 4-2, and after that season, they had only one NBA season above .500 (44-38, 2004/05), but that wasn't enough for the playoffs.

In the last 11 seasons, the Timberwolves had 10 players from the top 10 draft picks.

They selected: Brandon Roy (2006), Corey Brewer (2007), O.J. Mayo (2008), Ricky Rubio (2009), Johny Flynn (2009), Wesley Johnson (2010), Derrick Williams (2011), Trey Burke (2013) and finally Karl-Anthony Towns (2015) and Kris Dunn (2016).

Now, we will break out their selections and see how many mistakes they made and how many good players they missed in the last 10 years.

NBA Draft 2006

Brandon Roy - June 28, 2006: Drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1st round (6th pick) of the 2006 NBA Draft.

Immediately, after they selected Brandon Roy, he was traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Portland Trail Blazers for Randy Foye.

That was their 1st mistake from the NBA Draft. What if they didn't trade Brandon Roy?

NBA Draft Grade: D

They could have Kevin Garnett & Brandon Roy, and they could probably play in the NBA Playoffs in the two or three years.

I know this article has many "what if", but we already know about Brandon Roy' career in the NBA. He played for Minnesota Timberwolves (Season 12/13), but only 5 games before needing season-ending surgery on his right knee. He was waived by Minnesota on May 10, 2013.

NBA Draft 2007

Corey Brewer - Drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1st round (7th pick) of the 2007 NBA Draft.

They traded him after four seasons to the New York Knicks.

Who was a better player than Corey Brewer?

They could have one of the following players: Joakim Noah, Thaddeus Young, Wilson Chandler and Marc Gasol (48th pick, it's everyone faults).

NBA Draft Grade: C

NBA Draft 2008

Minnesota Timberwolves drafted O.J. Mayo (3rd pick) and traded him for Kevin Love (5th pick).

They could select Russell Westbrook, but Kevin Love was a great selection, and six years after they traded him for Andrew Wiggins.

Minnesota never played NBA Playoffs with Kevin Love, and what could happen if they selected Russell Westbrook?

I'm sure they will play at least one year in the playoffs. Who is a better player so far, Russell Westbrook or Kevin Love? I think that answer is very simple: Russell Westbrook.

NBA Draft Grade: B- (they got Kevin Love, but they passed on Russell Westbrook).

NBA Draft 2009

Not one, the two biggest mistakes in the Minnesota Timberwolves history. Because in case you didn’t remember, the Wolves selected not one but two point guards over Curry in the 2009 NBA draft.

The Timberwolves drafted Ricky Rubio (5th pick) and Johny Flynn (6th pick). The Warriors selected Stephen Curry (7th pick). Also, they passed on DeMar DeRozan (9th pick).

Do you need an explanation for this move? 7 years later, Stephen Curry is one of the best players in the world, Ricky Rubio is an injured-prone player and Johny Flynn is not in the NBA anymore.

What could have been if Kevin Love and Stephen Curry played together for Minnesota Timberwolves?

NBA Draft Grade: D x 2

NBA Draft 2010

Minnesota selected Wesley Johnson (4th pick) and traded him after two seasons.

They didn't select DeMarcus Cousins (5th pick), Greg Monroe (7th pick) and Paul George (10th pick).

They had a great opportunity to select one future superstar (Cousins or George), but they selected Wesley Johnson.

It's really crazy how many great players Minnesota missed in 5 years, and is not over.

NBA Draft Grade: D x 2

NBA Draft 2011

Derrick Williams - Drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1st round (2nd pick) of the 2011 NBA Draft. Two years later, traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Sacramento Kings for Luc Mbah a Moute.

Yeah, it's easy to be smart right now... but they had three or four better players than Derrick Williams. They could select Tristan Thompson (4th pick), Jonas Valanciunas (5h pick), Kemba Walker (they already have Ricky Rubio, so it's not a mistake), but they passed on Klay Thompson (11th pick) and Kawhi Leonard (15th pick).

Also, Reggie Jackson was the 24th pick and Jimmy Butler was the 30th pick.

NBA Draft Grade: D

NBA Draft 2013

Trey Burke - Drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1st round (9th pick) of the 2013 NBA Draft and immediately traded by the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Utah Jazz for Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad.

They could select C.J. McCollum (10th pick) or Giannis Antetokounmpo (15th pick).

Minnesota made another mistake, because Trey Burke is not even close to McCollum or Antetokounmpo. Ok, they got Dieng, but why they every time select and trade player immediately after that? They had 3 same mistakes.

NBA Draft Grade: C-

NBA Draft 2015 & NBA Draft 2016

They selected (finally, after 10 years) a future superstar - Karl-Anthony Towns.

This year, they drafted Kris Dunn, and we'll see if they make a mistake or not.


Minnesota Timberwolves, after 11 years made 7 mistakes and they didn't play in the NBA Playoffs since 2003/04.

They could have: Russell Westbrook or Stephen Curry or DeMarcus Cousins.

Do you think the Minnesota Timberwolves ever sit around and wonder what could have been?

But, after so many dumb moves, they finally have two future superstars (Towns and Wiggins) and everyone is excited to watch the Young Timberwolves next season.

Source for article: