The Minnesota Timberwolves joined the NBA as an expansion team in 1989, and they have made the playoffs just 11 times in their first 34 seasons. Their struggles are in part because of the team’s poor track record in the draft. Minnesota has certainly hit some home runs, but there have been more than a few busts too.
They have made the playoffs back-to-back years behind Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns. Minnesota has had the number one pick in the draft just twice, and they hit both times. There are rumors the team will trade Towns this summer, but Minnesota should not give up a star to get draft capital.
The Timberwolves had multiple options for each member of their draft bust starting five. There were no easy choices, which is not good when talking about just 34 years of history.
Minnesota Timberwolves all-time draft bust starting 5
PG: Jonny Flynn
The Timberwolves missed on two point guards selected in the top six over the last 15 years. Most fans would point to Kris Dunn here after the fifth overall pick in 2016 struggled in his lone season in Minnesota before being traded to Chicago in the Jimmy Butler deal. Dunn had three productive yet injury-riddled seasons with the Bulls before fading out of the league.
Flynn was the sixth pick in 2009. The Timberwolves had back-to-back picks and went with Ricky Rubio fifth overall. Minnesota won a franchise-low 15 games, but Flynn averaged 13.5 points, 4.4 assists, and 1.0 steal per game as a rookie in what turned out to be the best season of his career. He played just three years in the NBA and was out of the league before his 24th birthday.
To make matters worse, the Timberwolves selected two point guards at five and six, but none of them were Stephen Curry, who went seventh to Golden State. Rubio is still playing, but he never became a superstar as Curry will go down as one of the best to ever do it. DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday, and Jeff Teague were all still on the board when Minnesota selected in 2009.
The Minnesota Timberwolves had two massive misses at point guard, but the strikeouts keep coming.