With the 2019-20 just around the corner with preseason action underway, I thought I’d take a look at each of the 30 NBA teams’ all-time starting lineups.
Highlighting the top players in each franchise’s history, the all-time lineup was created using players individual accolades as well as team success during each players’ stint. Beginning with last season’s non-playoff teams and finishing up with the season’s 16 postseason participants, here is the next team in line, the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Guard: Sam Cassell (2003-05)
During just three seasons in Minnesota, Cassell became a key cog in leading the franchise to their first and only division title and conference finals appearance in 2004. During his career-best 2003-04 season, Cassell was named an NBA All-Star and received All-NBA Second Team honors before being traded after the 2004-05 season.
Guard: Wally Szczerbiak (1999-06)
A key contributor to the best teams in Timberwolves franchise history, Szczerbiak was taken sixth overall in the 1999 NBA Draft, helping Minnesota make the playoffs as a rookie while being selected to the All-Rookie First Team.
In his third year, Szczerbiack was playing the best basketball of his career and helped lead the Timberwolves to the postseason while being named an NBA All-Star in 2002.
Helping lead Minnesota to their first conference finals trip and division title during the 2003-04 season, Szczerbiak began to see his role decline before being traded following the 2005-06 season after eight years with the Timberwolves.
Forward: Kevin Love (2008-14)
A three-time All-Star selection in Minnesota (2011, 2012, 2014), Love became the face of the franchise following the trade of Kevin Garnett following the 2006-07 season.
During his six years with the Timberwolves, Love was named to the 2009 All-Rookie Second Team and two All-NBA Teams while leading the league in rebounding and picking up the Most Improved Player Award for his 2010-11 season.
Despite his individual excellence, Love was never able to guide the team to the postseason, and was traded after the 2013-14 season to Cleveland.
Forward: Kevin Garnett (1995-07, 2015-16)
The fifth overall pick in the 1995 NBA draft, Garnett became the first player to be drafted directly out of high school since 1975, averaging 10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game and being named to the All-Rookie Second Team.
By his second season he was an All-Star, leading the Timberwolves to their first ever playoff appearance. In the next ten seasons, Garnett established himself as one of the NBA’s premiere players, racking up nine more All-Star appearances, eight All-NBA selections and eight All-Defensive Team nods.
After winning All-Star Game MVP honors in 2003, Garnett took home NBA MVP honors for his outstanding 2003-04 campaign, in which he led Minnesota to their only division title and conference finals appearance in franchise history.
After the 2006-07 season, Garnett was traded to Boston before he eventually made his way back to the Timberwolves in 2015, retiring with the team just before the start of the 2016-17 season.
Center: Karl-Anthony Towns (2015-present)
The No. 1 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, Towns became the face of the new era of the franchise after the departure of Kevin Love.
During his rookie campaign, Towns was named NBA Rookie of the Year and to the All-Rookie First Team. By his third season he was named an NBA All-Star and was chosen as a Third-Team All-NBA performer while guiding the Timberwolves to the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
Towns turned in another All-Star campaign in 2018-19 and will look to lead the Timberwolves back to the postseason again in 2019-20.