Ranking the 15 worst Timberwolves starters of the Kevin Garnett Era

Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Garnett Sam Mitchell Timberwolves roster
Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

XI: F Sam Mitchell (1999-00)

GS 24 | 18.6 MPG | 6.5 PPG | 43.5 3P% | 2.1 RPG | 1.7 APG | 0.4 SPG | 0.2 BPG

The Minnesota Timberwolves got some good basketball years out of 6-foot-6 210-pound wingman Sam Mitchell, but the 1999-2000 NBA season was not one of them. Mitchell was another player who began his NBA career as a draft and stash, competing for two seasons in the EuroLeague for France.

When he did finally land in the NBA, he played 10 years for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and three seasons with the Indiana Pacers. He was a solid contributor on the Timberwolves roster for many years. Unfortunately, by the time he played in the 1999-2000 season for the Timberwolves, Father Time had caught up to him and his production dropped dramatically.

His points per game dropped from 11.2 the previous season to just 6.5 in this year. In fact, his production dropped across the board. Despite the decline, Mitchell appeared in 66 games for the Timberwolves and started in 24 of those contests.

The Timberwolves started 6-foot-8 small forward Malik Sealy that year, so Mitchell’s role was primarily coming into games off the bench. Still, the 6-foot-6 210-pound Timberwolves small forward did absorb a lot of game time. His saving grace was that tremendous perimeter shot, in which he sank an incredible 43.5 percent of the time.

He would retire as a player, but return to the NBA as a coach from 2002 through 2016. He would win NBA Coach of the Year in 2006-07 as head coach of the Toronto Raptors. He would complete the circle as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2015-16, leading the team to a 29-53 record.