10 Worst free agent signings in Minnesota Timberwolves history

JJ Barea, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
JJ Barea, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Timberwolves are one of the newest franchises in the NBA. Having played their first season in 1989-90, only four teams in the league have played less seasons since their inception than Minnesota. As a result, the Timberwolves do not have nearly as much history as most other NBA clubs.

Playing in their 34th season in franchise history in 2022-23, Minnesota is looking to make the playoffs for the 11th time in the history of the team. Looking back on the previous three decades of Timberwolves basketball, they have scarcely had as talented a roster as they do right now.

One of the factors that led to this in the current season was acquiring a rock-solid free agent in the 2022 offseason: Kyle Anderson. He has played a big role in helping the Wolves stay aloft in the midst of an injury-ridden year. Unfortunately, Anderson’s signing represented the exception more than the rule for this franchise, as the Timberwolves do not have an extensive track record of success in free agency.

Playing in a small market, it has historically been difficult for Minnesota to attract marquee players to the Twin Cities. The Wolves have not been without a few successful signings over the years, but they have unfortunately had more misses than hits. Let’s look back on 10 of the worst free agent signings in Minnesota Timberwolves history.

These 10 players represent the worst free agent signings in Minnesota Timberwolves history.

10. James Nunnally

A player who had bounced around multiple NBA clubs and international teams, James Nunnally was signed by the Timberwolves in August of 2018 on a two-year deal. He was 28 years old at the time, having already played at the pro level for six years. The problem with Nunnally was that he was the ultimate journeyman, having played for 10 teams since his pro debut in 2012 at the time of his signing in Minnesota.

As a result, the two-year deal he signed with the Wolves seemed like a shaky agreement at best. And unsurprisingly, he did not last long in the Twin Cities, with Minnesota waiving him five months later after he appeared in just 13 games for the team. His contract with the Timberwolves represented his only career NBA deal that was not a two-way, 10-day, or Summer League contract.

Minnesota’s willingness to invest in Nunnally for two full seasons proved to be a big oversight, and the subsequent lack of interest in him from other NBA teams following his Wolves stint confirmed this was the case. Nunnally has carved out a solid pro career for himself overseas since then, but he had no business on a Timberwolves team that was contending for the playoffs heading into the 2018-19 season.