9 Players the Minnesota Timberwolves held onto for way too long

Anthony Peeler, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by: Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Anthony Peeler, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by: Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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William Avery, Minnesota Timberwolves
William Avery, Minnesota Timberwolves Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule Jr. /Allsport /

7. William Avery (1999-2002)

The second 14th-overall draft pick on this list, William Avery was selected by the Timberwolves in first round of the 1999 NBA Draft. He was coming off a spectacular college season where he was trained by legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Avery helped the Blue Devils achieve a record of 37-2 while being the team’s leading assist-getter and racking up 1.5 steals per game as well. On the other side of the ball, he was a knockdown shooter from beyond the arc at 41%. All this made him an extremely intriguing prospect, and Minnesota was right to take him in the lottery.

But unfortunately, Avery’s skill simply never translated to the NBA level. After signing a three-year rookie deal with the Timberwolves in 1999, he struggled to get his footing in the league. He had ample opportunity to earn more playing time, appearing in 55+ games in each of his first two seasons. Despite this, he never broke through.

After Avery averaged just 2.8 points and 1.4 assists in his second year, it was clear he was never going to develop into the player the Timberwolves had hoped for when they drafted him. But management still decided to bring him back for the final year on his rookie deal, hoping that something would change. It never did, and Avery went overseas to continue his pro career.