4. Michael Olowokandi
Our next free agent signing comes from the Kevin Garnett Timberwolves era. In the summer of 2003, Minnesota was coming off the best season in franchise history at the time. Having won a franchise-record 51 games and having taken Shaq and Kobe’s Lakers to six games in the first round of the playoffs, the front office knew they were trending upward in a big way.
Of course, one of the major priorities of that offseason had to be reinforcing the roster with solid players to help them get over the hump of beating challengers like the Lakers and Spurs in the Western Conference. They did so in acquiring important pieces like Latrell Sprewell and Sam Cassell.
So it seemed like an excellent move when they also signed free agent seven-footer Michael Olowokandi from the Los Angeles Clippers. Inking a deal with Minnesota for three years and $16.2 million, the Kandi Man looked to serve as a solid second option in the frontcourt and make life easier for Kevin Garnett.
However, due to knee issues and surgery, he only ended up playing in around half the Timberwolves’ games during the 2003-04 season. In the following season, he missed time due to various off-court issues, including when he was suspended by the team after a nightclub incident.
Olowokandi’s saw a significant drop in his scoring and rebounding numbers from his final season in Los Angeles to his first two seasons in Minnesota, and the Wolves ended up deciding to trade him prior to the 2006 trade deadline. In all, the big man was never able to be the Robin to KG’s Batman like the organization had hoped.