Minnesota Timberwolves: The 10 Worst NBA Draft Picks of All Time
The NBA Draft has not been lucky for the Minnesota Timberwolves throughout the years. The team has made some poor draft day decisions and traded away some of their best picks in Ray Allen and Brandon Roy. If that wasn't bad enough, the T-Wolves didn't even get a first round pick for three straight years due to an NBA penalty for an illegal contract with Joe Smith. This year, Minnesota hopes to change its luck with the team's highest draft pick ever.
In preparation for the upcoming draft, let's take a look at the Timberwolve's 10 worst draft picks of all time.
Note: Stats, position in draft, contract and team impact were all used to create and order this list.
10. Rashad McCants: 2005, 14th Overall
McCants was drafted 14th overall with high expectations after leading North Carolina to the championship. Because of his shooting and athletic ability, McCants came in with Jordan-like comparisons. He battled with injuries during his first two seasons, which limited his minutes and scoring. He made his big break in 2007 when he became a semi-regular member of the starting lineup. This was short lived because of what coaches and teammates described as attitude issues that limited his playing time, led to his trade and then forced him into the NBDL after only five seasons.
He wasn't a horrible player, but was a huge letdown and hurt the team's chemistry.
He averaged 10.0 PPG during his time in the NBA.
9. Lazar Hayward: 2010, 30th Overall
I know it's a little early for a guy who just finished his rookie season to be on here, but I have little faith in first round pick Hayward. In 10 minutes per game, he put up less than impressive numbers of 3.8 PPG, 1.7 RPG and 0.7 APG. His play has been well below what's expected of a first round pick.
8. Felton Spenser 1990, 6th Overall
Spencer actually had a very productive rookie season with the Timberwolves averaging 7.1 PPG and 7.9 RPG which helped put him on the all-rookie 2nd team. Unfortunately the very next season Minnesota drafted an even bigger center in Luc Longley who took over the starting spot, and was much less productive. In his career he averaged 5.2 PPG.
7. Ricky Rubio, Jonny Flynn, Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington: 2009, 5,6,18,28
These players are bundled together because of the fact that Wolves general manager David Kahn took four guards in the first round of the 2009 NBA draft (and one more in the second round). I have faith in Rubio but the rest have not provided great results. Flynn has underachieved and is now linked to most trade rumors, Lawson was traded and Ellington is a role player.
6. Corey Brewer 2007, 7th Overall
Brewer played four seasons in Minnesota and was a solid defender but never could score enough to be deserving of the 7th pick overall. He was eventually traded away to New York who waived him before he played a game. Dallas picked him up and now he is part of their reserve. His college teammate Joakim Noah went two picks later and is now a starter for the playoff team Chicago Bulls. Minnesota meanwhile needs a center.
5. Luc Longley 1991, 7th Overall
Longley was the first player out of Australia to ever play in the NBA. Most people remember him for helping Jordan's Bulls win championships. I remember him for being the 7th overall pick by Minnesota who only averaged 4.3 PPG his rookie season. Over his career he averaged 7.2 PPG but that was boosted by better years after he already left the Timberwolves.
4. Paul Grant: 1997, 20th Overall
Minnesota used a first round draft pick in 1997 to draft the center from Wisconsin, Paul Grant. Grant didn't get a chance to play, however, until 1999, because he was on the injured list for his entire rookie season. He played four games for the T-Wolves in which he scored a total of two points. He played two seasons during his career and averaged 1.8 PPG.
3. Nikola Pekovic: 2008, 31st Overall
I know he was a 2nd round pick but the only reason he dropped that far was so that he could be paid more. Pekovic was a star overseas, so in order to convince him to join the T-Wolves, general manager David Kahn had to pay him $13 million over three years (and he plays backup to Darko Milicic, who is making $20 million over four years). Pekovic waited two years before making his debut and now has rewarded Minnesota with 5.5 PPG and 3.0 RPG.
2. William Avery 1999, 14th Overall
Like other point guards to come out of Duke, Avery was considered a bust at the NBA level. William Avery was one of the first three players to leave Duke early under coach K, along with Elton Brand and Corey Magette. Despite being taken 14th overall by the Minnesota, Avery never amounted to much only lasting three seasons in the NBA. His 2.7 career PPG kept Minnesota involved in a carousel of point guards for years to come.
1. Ndudi Ebi: 2003, 26th Overall
Ndudi Ebi was the second player the Minnesota Timberwolves ever drafted straight out of high school. The first was Kevin Garnett, and needless to say, the T-Wolves did not get the same result with Ebi. After going three straight years without a first round draft pick (because of salary cap violation with Joe Smith), Minnesota used their 26th overall pick to draft the unproven high schooler. Instead of being the piece Garnett needed to win a championship, Ebi rewarded the T-Wolves with two seasons in the league and 2.1 PPG. The three players drafted directly after Ebi were Kendrick Perkins, Leandro Barbosa and Josh Howard. All three have had productive careers and are still in the league.