7 People who turned their backs on the Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers
Minnesota Timberwolves v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages
5 of 7

3. Stephon Marbury

The best player thus far on the list, Stephon Marbury played just 167 games in a Timberwolves jersey. The Georgia Tech star was drafted fourth overall by the Bucks and then traded to Minnesota for future NBA Champion—Ray Allen.

In Marbury's rookie season, playing alongside Gugliotta and Garnett, he averaged 15.8 points and 7.8 assists per game. The former Yellow Jacket finished second in Rookie of the Year voting and helped lead the Wolves to their first-ever playoff appearance.

Marbury took his game to the next level in his second season. He averaged 17.7 points and 8.6 assists per game while playing in all 82 games. Marbury's stellar play coincided with the team's success as the Wolves won a then-franchise record 45 games and made the playoffs for the second straight season.

Just as the Marbury-Garnett duo began to blossom, it was torn apart. Following Gugliotta's departure to Phoenix, the next Wolf wanted out. Amid another encouraging season in Minnesota. Marbury suddenly requested a trade.

It all began with an extension Garnett signed with the Timberwolves in 1997. The franchise centerpiece inked a massive, six-year $126 million contract to remain in Minnesota. The enormous deal eventually led to the NBA lockout in 1998.

The lockout dragged on into the 1999 season but was ultimately resolved in late January. Of the lockout's repercussions, player's salaries were capped depending on their experience in the league. Due to the new rules, Minnesota was only able to offer Marbury a six-year, $71 million maximum extension.

Although the Wolves offered Marbury a max-extension, he felt slighted. The star guard was jealous of Garnett's massive payday. While Garnett appeared to be a team-first guy, Marbury appeared to desire the limelight.

The All-Star point guard forced his way to a bigger market, New Jersey. Marbury listed numerous factors for wanting out, although absent was the contract dispute. He mentioned Minneapolis' lack of diversity, ice-cold weather, and poor quality of life for wanting out.