Best player to wear each number for the Timberwolves, part 1 (0-25)
Have you ever wondered who are the best Minnesota Timberwolves players to wear each number in franchise history?
Well, we can’t blame you for that, but with the Wolves next game a far cry away, here’s your chance.
Players from all three decades of Timberwolves basketball are represented well on this list, and while not every player was as impressive as others, it is at least an opportunity to get reacquainted with players from the past.
The list below is the best player for each number in Timberwolves franchise history, based off information from basketballreference.com.
This edition covers numbers 0-25. We’ll tackle the remainder in our next installment.
No. 0: D’Angelo Russell
Russell has not been with the Minnesota Timberwolves long (12 games to be exact), but in those games he averaged 21.7 points and 6.6 assists per game and has provided some excitement to the team.
No. 1: Rashad McCants
McCants was mostly a single-digit scorer except for in 2007-08 when he scored 14.9 points per game. Anthony Peeler was considered for this but since he wore No. 44 as well, that is where he will be placed.
No. 2: Malik Sealy
Unfortunately, Sealy’s life was tragically cut short in 2000 during his second year with the Timberwolves. He was playing pretty well in the 1999-00 season by scoring 11.3 points per game and shooting 47.6% from the field. Sealy’s No. 2 is the only number retired by the Wolves, and his jersey can be seen hanging from the rafters at the Target Center.
No. 3: Stephon Marbury
Even though the Marbury era did not last as long as Timberwolves fans hoped it would, the talented point guard managed to average 16.3 points and 8.3 assists during his short time in Minnesota.
No. 4: Michael Williams
Williams patrolled the Timberwolves backcourt for five seasons in the 1990s and contributed with 12.3 points and 6.3 assists per game. Chauncey Billups is the best player to wear a No. 4 Timberwolves jersey, but since his best years came elsewhere Williams gets the nod.
No. 5: Doug West
West is the best to wear No. 5 for Minnesota although Gorgui Dieng made this one a little tricky to choose. West was an effective and efficient scorer for the Timberwolves in the 1990s, highlighted by his 1992-93 campaign when he dropped 19.3 points per game.
No. 6: Jordan McLaughlin
Probably not the name you expected so see for this spot, but the rest of the Minnesota players to wear No. 6 had very little impact. McLaughlin at least showed some promise as a rookie in 2019-20 by shooting 48.9% (38.2% from deep) and averaging 7.6 points.
No. 7: Terrell Brandon
Brandon was part of the Timberwolves first 50-win team and played for Minnesota from 1999-2002. In that time, the two-time NBA All-Star dropped 15.6 points and 8.3 assists per contest.
No. 8: Zach LaVine
Latrell Sprewell, who also wore No. 8 for Minnesota, will be remembered as a better NBA player, but LaVine is the better Timberwolf to wear No. 8. LaVine developed as a scorer and won two dunk contests with Minnesota and also never claimed he wouldn’t be able to feed his family on an NBA salary.
No. 9: Ricky Rubio
The Spanish point guard spent the first six seasons of his career in Minnesota. Although he did not show elite scoring abilities, Rubio found a way to contribute by averaging 10.3 points and 8.3 assists with the Timberwolves.
No. 10: Wally Szczerbiak
Szczerbiak played in Minnesota from 1999-2006 and made 2002 NBA All-Star team, so he easily is the best player in franchise history to wear No. 10. Interestingly, Szczerbiak shot an even 50.0% from the floor with the Timberwolves.
No. 11: J. J. Barea
While Naz Reid has shown some promise, Barea gets the spot. The 2011 NBA Finals star played for the Timberwolves from 2011-14 and averaged 11.3 points per game in each of his first two seasons with the team.
No. 12: Gary Neal
No. 12 is not the best number historically for the Timberwolves, so Neal gets the selection since he scored 11.8 points per game after he was traded to Minnesota from the Charlotte Hornets in 2015.
No. 13: Luke Ridnour
Ridnour started at point guard and shooting guard during his three-year stint with the Timberwolves from 2011-2013. He scored 11.7 points per game in Minnesota, the most of any team he played for.
No. 14: Nikola Pekovic
Pek played for Minnesota from 2010-16 and was the starting center for most of that time. His best year came in 2013-14 when he averaged 17.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, higher than his career averages of 12.6 and 6.7, respectively.
No. 15: Shabazz Muhammad
While he may not have lived up to his high draft status, Muhammad found a way to average in the double digits in scoring during his second and third NBA seasons.
No. 16: Troy Hudson
If James Johnson had been with Minnesota for a bit longer he would take this spot, but Troy Hudson gets the honor since he played five seasons and averaged an even 10.0 points in that span.
No. 17: Bill Curley
After missing two seasons with an ankle injury, Curley played the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons with the Timberwolves and averaged 2.4 points and 1.7 rebounds. Curley was the only Minnesota player to wear No. 17 to play more than one season.
No. 18: Omri Casspi
Casspi is the only player to wear No. 18 for the Timberwolves and that’s the only reason he makes the list because he averaged 3.5 points in 13 games for the franchise from March-April 2017.
No. 19: Sam Cassell
Cassell runs away with this one. He played in Minnesota from 2003-05 and had his best season of his career in 2003-04 when he made his first and only NBA All-Star Game, was named to the All-NBA second team and recorded 19.8 points and 7.3 assists per game.
No. 20: Josh Okogie
Okogie has not been with the Timberwolves for long but it’s clear the 21-year-old shooting guard has some potential. He is already a good defender and in two seasons in Minnesota Okogie has averaged 8.1 points and 3.6 rebounds.
No. 21: Kevin Garnett
Garnett is the best player in Timberwolves history and therefore the best to wear No. 21. With respect to Lance Blanks and Stacey King, this was not a tough choice.
No. 22: Andrew Wiggins
The 2014 top overall pick came to Minnesota in the Kevin Love trade and won the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 2015. Wiggins did not quite develop the way Timberwolves fans hoped, but he scored 19.7 points per game during his career in Minnesota before he was traded to the Golden State Warriors this past season.
No. 23: Jimmy Butler
Kevin Martin got consideration for this spot, but Butler is simply a better player. He was traded to Minnesota in 2017 and was the driving force behind the Timberwolves’ playoff appearance in 2018. While Butler could certainly ruffle some feathers, he still recorded 22.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in Minnesota.
No. 24: Tom Gugliotta
Googs spent the best four of his years with the Timberwolves in the late 1990s. Gugliotta averaged 20.6 points and 8.7 rebounds during his All-Star season in 1996-97 and finished his Timberwolves career with 18.2 points and 8.5 boards per game.
No. 25: Al Jefferson
Al Jefferson earns the No. 25 spot, although it was temping to go with Derrick Rose here. After arriving as part of the KG trade, Jefferson averaged a double-double with 20.1 points and 10.4 rebounds during his three-year stint in the Twin Cities.