2. Ricky Rubio (2011-2017, 2020-2021)
This is one that is sure to ruffle some feathers, as Ricky Rubio was beloved in the Twin Cities for some time. Drafted by the Timberwolves in 2009, the Spanish phenom continued playing overseas for two additional years and did not make his NBA debut until the 2011-12 season.
But when he did finally enter the NBA scene, Rubio looked like a star in the making. He was leading all rookies in points, assists, and steals per game until his untimely ACL injury in March 2012 that caused him to miss the remainder of the season.
Suffering from such a crucial injury so early into an NBA career made it difficult for Rubio to reach the level of stardom that he was ultimately heading for early on. But he still remained an excellent playmaker, dishing out over eight assists per game in his first six seasons in Minnesota.
The Timberwolves kept Rubio around until summer 2017, when he was traded to the Utah Jazz. Minnesota would ultimately bring him back for the 2020-21 season with Jeff Teague off the Wolves’ roster.
Rubio was always fun to watch, and he remains a fan favorite in Minnesota. But it became clear that he was never going to be the game-changing point guard the Timberwolves needed, and his tenure with the Wolves was longer than it should have been.