7. Zach LaVine (Oct. 2014 – March 2015)
Although Zach LaVine was entering his second NBA season by the time Tyrus Jones arrived, he was already showing signs of becoming an NBA star over the course of his career. And it was his star potential that attracted the Chicago Bulls, luring them to part ways with shooting guard Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton in exchange for LaVine, Kris Dunn, and Lauri Markannen.
Stats: 77 games | 24.7 MPG | 10.1 PPG | 2.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG, 42.2 FG percent
It was the pairing of LaVine and Andrew Wiggins that gave rise to the nickname, the “Bounce Brothers.” That was a misguided attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the Golden State Warriors ‘Splash Brothers,’ of Steph Kurray and Klay Thompson as the inspiration.
LaVine was a point guard for the Timberwolves in his rookie season, switching to shooting guard for the rest of his NBA nine-season career. While he played well enough for the Timberwolves, he did not see his first action in the NBA Playoffs until the Chicago Bulls reached the post-season in 2022.
He is one of the nine players who the TImberwolves gave up on far too soon, and even to this day NBA rumors occasionally spit out some trade scenario where the Timberwolves could reacquire LaVine. I fear that ship has sailed, but his rookie season with the Timberwolves was enough to spark the competitive edge into the future.