In the Minnesota Timberwolves’ nearly 30 year history, they have had their ups and downs on the defensive front. With that being said, there have been plenty of players over the years who excelled at creating defensive pressure and forcing the opponent into turning the ball over.
Although the Minnesota Timberwolves’ defense has been below-average during the last few seasons, they’ve still finished in the top 10 in forced turnovers in three of the last five seasons. The ability to come up with steals and force the opponent into making mistakes is a game-changer. Steals can sway momentum, make up for offensive inconsistency, and sometimes change the whole course of a game.
This upcoming year, Tom Thibodeau will look to continue transforming the team’s defense with Jeff Teague coming in averaging 1.23 steals a season ago. However, the Wolves may have a secret weapon on defense coming off the bench.
Since Kris Dunn and Ricky Rubio were both traded, the backup point guard role is Tyus Jones’ for the taking. Jones averaged 2.98 steals per 48 minutes this past season, good enough for fourth in the NBA, finishing ahead of elite defenders like Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, and John Wall. Although the sample size is small, the 21-year-old could wind up on this list one day if he continues to make strides in the right direction.
Although this list contains no current Timberwolves, there are multiple players on the team right now who could break into the top five by stringing together a few solid defensive seasons.