Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 best players all-time at each position

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Wally Szczerbiak
Paul Pierce (L) of the Boston Celtics blocks a drive to the basket by Wally Szczerbiak (R) of the Minnesota Timberwolves. JESSICA RINALDI/AFP via Getty Images) /

Small Forward

1. Wally Szczerbiak
2. Latrell Sprewell
3. Andrew Wiggins

In 2002, Wally Szczerbiak was the first Wolves player not named Kevin Garnett or Tom Gugliotta to make the All-Star Team — in Year 13 of the franchise.

Szczerbiak shot 40.4 percent on 3-point attempts over six-plus seasons in a Wolves uniform, averaging 15.5 points per game over his tenure. He was the team’s second-best player for much of their one-and-done playoff appearances. During the 2004 run to the conference finals, Szczerbiak fought through injuries and was ultimately an important bench piece during the postseason run.

Coincidentally, Sprewell effectively stepped into Szczerbiak’s role in the wake of Wally’s injury during the 2003-04 campaign. The two split time as the primary wing scorer next to defensive wizard Trenton Hassell during much of the spring in 2004.

After a second and less-impressive season in Minnesota, Sprewell’s career ended in a contract dispute following the 2004-05 campaign.

Wiggins received a vote at shooting guard, which combined with his second and third-place votes at small forward to propel him past Sam Mitchell for the No. 3 spot.

Wiggins averaged 19.7 points per game over his five-plus seasons with the team. He was the No. 1 overall pick in 2014 by the Cleveland Cavaliers and was traded to the Wolves in the Kevin Love deal. That season, Wiggins won the Rookie of the Year award.

Unfortunately, Wiggins never took the proverbial next step on either end of the floor, struggling on defense and being more of a volume scorer than anything else on offense. He finished his Wolves career second on the team’s all-time points list and first in 3-pointers made, although Karl-Anthony Towns should pass him soon.

Wiggins’ tenure, combined with his minutes load (third in Wolves history) and relative health also led him to climb all the way into the franchise’s top-10 in steals, assists, rebounds, and made free throws.

Comments from our contributors

Zach Lung

People forget how good Szczerbiak was during his time in Minnesota. First Team All-Rookie, All-Star in 2002, and one of the best pure shooters the franchise has ever seen. Also, his name is one of the best in NBA history.

Jack Borman

Wally is No. 1 here, but Sam Mitchell would win my Timberwolves lifetime achievement award for players not named KG. He’s second in games played at 757, fourth in scoring at 7,161, and fifth in win shares at 32.9 and rebound at 3,030. Hell, Sam loved Minnesota so much he decided to come back and coach on Flip’s staff. Much respect to one of the most beloved Wolves of all-time.

Kedar Hiremath

Szczerbiak was an excellent sidekick to Garnett. Never a flashy player, Szczerbiak was a silent assassin on the court. In 2001-02, Szczerbiak averaged 18.7 points per game while shooting 50.8 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from long-range.

He contributed an impressive 8.7 Win Shares, became an All-Star, and was one of the best catch-and-shoot players — 92 percent of his 3-point field goals were assisted on that season. Szczerbiak didn’t dribble much; think an early version of Klay Thompson.