Which is the worst franchise in NBA history?

Everyone loves winning so it is very normal to always talk or look at teams that are very successful. We loved watching the Boston Celtics or the LA Lakers when these were the best teams in the league, we loved to see Jordan playing for the Chicago Bulls and we enjoyed watching the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers fight for the title. But this time I want to draw your attention to the worst team in the history of the NBA.

My choice is Minnesota Timberwolves, a team founded in 1989 after an expansion draft organized by the officials of the league. In almost 30 years of existence, they managed to get to the playoffs just 9 times, while winning only 941 games out of 2365 played. To put this into perspective, Tim Duncan got into the league in 1997 and played until 2016. In his 18 seasons as a Spur, Tim Duncan won 1001 games, 60 more than the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Maybe some will say that in the NBA there are 30 teams and only 16 qualify for the playoffs, so every year there are 14 teams which finish their season early. That’s true but with the right moves a bad team can become really good, take Golden State Warriors for example. The only great choice that Minnesota Timberwolves took was drafting Kevin Garnett in 1995. He ended up being the greatest player in the team’s history and in his last season he returned back and retired in a Timberwolves jersey.

But, let’s take a look at the list of bad choices that the people who are in charge of this organization took. In the 2006 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Brandon Roy with the 6th pick. If we look at the list of players that entered the league in that draft we see Rudy Gay (8th pick), JJ Reddick (11th pick), Rajon Rondo (21st pick), and Kyle Lowry (24th pick). More than that they didn’t even keep Brandon Roy who actually became a decent player, but they traded it to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Then, in 2007, they selected Corey Brewer with the 7th pick, while Joakim Noah was taken with the 9th choice by the Chicago Bulls. In the next season, with the 3rd pick, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected OJ Mayo trading him to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Kevin Love. The trade was more complicated than this but the point is that indeed Kevin Love was one of the best players in the franchise history. So this was indeed a good choice, but we remain with the question: What would have happened if the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Russell Westbrook instead of going after Kevin Love?

But, in my opinion, the 2009 NBA Draft was the worst thing that happened to this franchise. After a series of trades, the Minnesota Timberwolves ended up with the 5th pick, 6th pick, 18th pick, and 28th pick in the draft. With the 5th pick, they took Ricky Rubio, a decent player, but then with the 6th pick, the management selected Jonny Flynn. If we look one position lower, with the 7th pick, the Golden State Warriors selected… Stephen Curry. Other great players which entered the league in this draft are DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, and Patrick Beverley.

This was a horrible mistake but in the next season, everything could have been repaired, as Minnesota Timberwolves had again the 4th pick. They blew it again by selecting Wesley Johnson out of Syracuse University. This season they could have selected DeMarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward or Paul George. In 2011, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Derrick Williams with the 2nd pick in the same draft that had players like Kemba Walker, Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Nikola Vucevic, Jimmy Butler or Jonas Valanciunas.

In 2013, with the 9th pick, they selected Trey Burke and traded him immediately to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Shabazz Muhammad. With the 12th pick was selected Steven Adams and with the 15th pick was selected Giannis Antetokounmpo. In 2015, they finally had the first pick again and the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Karl-Anthony Towns a player who seems to be a better choice than the ones I listed.

However, these are just a few of the bad choices that the Minnesota Timberwolves took. I didn’t even talk about trades or waivers and so on. All these moves show me how bad the Timberwolves’ management is and how important it is to make a change. In my opinion, the Minnesota Timberwolves is the worst franchise in NBA history.

David Istrate, info@brainbasketball.net

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