5. Kevin Garnett (Nov. 1995 – April 1996)
Before anyone sees forward Kevin Garnett on this list of Top Minnesota Timberwolves as a fifth-ranked player, keep in mind that this list is focused exclusively on what a player did for the team in their first season in NBA competition. Some players simply hit the NBA basketball court running. Others must build up a head of steam to really get going.
It just so happened that Kevin Garnett needed a longer runway to get going up to full NBA speed.
That is not to say that Garnett struggled as an NBA rookie. But compared to his second and subsequent future seasons, he was not quite ‘there’ yet. He started just 43 of the 80 games played in his rookie season. This would be the only 37 games that he played in which he did not start over the course of his entire NBA career: All 1462 games with just 1425 starts. So how did he perform in his rookie season?
Stats: 80 games | 28.7 MPG | 10.4 PPG | 6.3 RPG | 1.8 APG | 1.1 SPG | 1.6 BPG | 49.1 FG percent
Garnett’s rookie season did not result in an appearance in the NBA Playoffs for the Minnesota Timberwolves. But his next eight seasons would. In fact, he would average more than 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists for the remainder of his playing days with the Timberwolves.
Kevin Garnett was the heart and soul of the Minnesota Timberwolves. But much like Kevin Love who soon followed, the Timberwolves failed to assemble a championship team around him.