5. Cole Aldrich
Like Jordan Hill, Cole Aldrich also signed on with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2016 offseason. Aldrich was coming off a 2015-16 season with the Clippers where he played sparingly, logging just 13 minutes per game. Still, there was enough there to make Minnesota interested.
Aldrich’s traditional stats were nothing to really write home about, at just 5.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest. But his per 36 minute numbers were much more impressive: 14.8 points and 13 rebounds per game. Combine that with his 59.6% shooting percentage the previous season and the Wolves were ready to take a chance on him, to the tune of a three-year, $22 million contract.
It was clear that Minnesota saw Cole Aldrich as the kind of player that could seriously thrive as a backup big given a greater opportunity. But unfortunately, he ended up buried on the depth chart and that opportunity was never afforded to him, with Thibodeau playing him just 8.6 minutes per game in 2016-17.
After his first season with the Wolves, Aldrich fell even further out of the rotation and ended up as the last player on the bench in 2017-18, scoring less than one point per game in 2.3 minutes per contest. In the 2018 offseason, Minnesota waived him with one year still remaining on his contract.
Aldrich is one of four players on this list to play their final NBA game in a Timberwolves uniform. The fact that Minnesota gave a player on their way out of the league a decently big payday only to release him two years later is enough to land this signing in our top five.