With history as their guide, the Timberwolves did on draft night what they have done every year since 1989 when they took UCLA guard Pooh Richardson. Whether a draft day deal, or moved later, the Wolves can't seem to find a first round pick that they actually keep around.
Thursday night was no different.
With their pick at number nine, the Wolves selected Michigan point guard Trey Burke who they almost immediately sent packing to Utah for the 14th and 21st picks. They also owned the 26th pick which they traded along with Malcolm Lee to Golden State for some fifty cent pieces and a used basketball pump.
Go ahead. Tell me this draft was short of talent and the way it fell the team was in a no win situation. I've heard it all before, like for 25 years. With the Wolves, there has always been a reason and an excuse.
Ponder this. Of the 25 years the Wolves have been involved in the draft (several of which had no first round pick) the lone first round pick that actually belonged to the Wolves and not gained by a trade that has not been dealt is Derrick Williams who the team will most likely deal this summer.
1989- Pooh Richardson
1990- Felton Spencer Gerald Glass (from Philadelphia)
1991- Luc Longley
1992- Christian Laettner
1993- Isaiah Rider
1994- Donyell Marshall
1995- Kevin Garnett
1996- Ray Allen
1997- Paul Grant (from Portland)
1998- Rasho Nesterovic
1999- Wally Szczerbiak (from New Jersey); William Avery
2000- No first round selection
2001- No first round selection
2002- No first round selection
2003- Ndudi Ebi
2004- No first round selection
2005- Rashad McCants
2006- Brandon Roy
2007- Corey Brewer
2008- O.J. Mayo
2009- Ricky Rubio (from Washington) ; Jonny Flynn ; Ty Lawson (from Miami) (traded to Denver); Wayne Ellington (from Boston)
2010- Wesley Johnson; Lazar Hayward
2011- Derrick Williams
2012- No first round pick
2013- Trey Burke (traded to Utah); Shabazz Muhammad (from Utah); Gorgui Dieng (from Utah); Nate Roberson (traded to Utah)
When it comes to futile NBA franchises the Wolves are at the top of the list. Yet, I still love them.
From the double secret contract of Joe Smith, to the constant moving of first round picks, the Wolves have never seemed comfortable in their own skin. Despite continuous first round exits in the playoffs, the one year they broke through, making it all the way to the Western Conference Finals they couldn't sustain the momentum and watched as Spree fed his family from afar.
The best thing to ever happen to the franchise, Kevin Garnett was moved to Boston and won a NBA title with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. What if we would have never made the draft day trade for Stephon Marbury? It makes my head explode. This franchise has never had a true shooting guard and it is ironic they dealt the best pure shooter in the history of the game for a selfish point guard who needed to reconnect to his umbilical cord. Every year since Starbury left, I have continued to say it was the right move for the team. I'm done using that as a crutch. Had we paired Allen and Garnet and had a solid third piece in Tommy Gugliotta, it may have been us that had a title in our trophy case.
When it comes to fandom of a team, this base has been as patient as they get and every year we hear the same thing. A year removed from our supposed all-star continuing to throw out hints of discontent while doing "knuckle pushups" and in the process fracturing more than the bones in his hand.
The weird part of the Wolves is that we have had great players and elite coaches (Adelman), but because of incompetent front office personnel (McHale and Kahn), the program continues to be in a constant state of flux and reset.
That happens with bad franchises and unfortunately, our Wolves can be classified as such.
Wake me when we're back in the playoffs. Until then, I'm in search of Michael J. Fox and the Delorean. I want to go back to the 2003-2004 season.