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5 Timberwolves that could have been

Published by Axel on 13th August - 03:12 (CET)
As NBA junkees we look everywhere for some NBA related matter during the off season.
Unfortunately there aren't much to be found, so while we wait for some I thought I'd post another round of draft picks that could've been. The Timberwolves edition.

- 5 Cavs that could have been
- 5 Bulls that could have been
- 5 Blazers that could have been
Picked 2nd overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by Minnesota Timberwolves.

Derrick Williams had an amazing rookie season at University of Arizona where he averaged 15.7 points per game, was selected to the First-team All-Pac-10 while and becoming the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.

His sophomore season was equally impressive as he averaged 19.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while again making the First-team All-Pac-10 and being selected as the Pac-10 Player of the Year.
He also led the NCAA in True Shooting percentage (.690) and Effective Field Goal percentage (.650).

That's why it came to no surprise when Minnesota picked Williams 2nd overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.
He had an acceptable rookie season averaging 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, .6 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks in 21.5 minutes per game and even made the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

Williams developed enough to earn the starting duties for most games in his sophomore season, but unfortunately it also became pretty clear that he would never live up to his high draft number, as he wasn't quick enough to play the 3 and not big enough to play the 4 in the big league.
Just like many other players transitioning from NCAA to the NBA he also had trouble finding his three point shot which was part of what made him so good playing for the Wildcats.

While Draymond Green and many other "tweeners" have been able to find ways to contribute Williams inconsistency on offense and horrible defense made him a total liability to have on the court and after only 11 games into the 2013 - 2014 season he was traded to Sacramento Kings for Luc Mbah a Moute.

Even if this pick didn't look so bad at the time it has to sting for the Timberwolves to know that they could have selected Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Jonas Valančiūnas or Brandon Knight among many other good players.
Picked 4th overall in the 2010 NBA Draft by Minnesota Timberwolves.

Swingman Wesley Johnson played high school basketball at Corsicana High School, Texas, and did so in a great fashion. He was a first-team all-district pick in 2004 and 2005 and averaged 15.2 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.3 blocks as a senior. He also played for the Dallas Mustangs AAU team.

His college career started at Iowa State where he averaged 12.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in his freshman season while being named to the Big 12 all-Rookie team and earning honorable mention freshman All-America honors.

Johnson's sophomore season was cut short due to a ankle injury, but he still managed to average 12.4 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, enough to get named an honorable mention all-Big 12 selection in 2008.

After transferring to Syracuse he became ineligible to play during his junior season because of the NCAA transfer rules.

Playing with a much more talented team in his senior season Johnson suddenly looked better and averaged 16.0 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while being named a Consensus first-team All-American and Big East Player of the Year in 2010.

Perhaps Johnson looked even better than he actually was. Minnesota certainly thought so, and as they were worried about the reports on DeMarcus Cousins' anger issues and needed an outside threat they selected him in front of not only Cousins, but also Paul George, Gordon Hayward and Greg Monroe.

Johnson played well enough to earn a spot on the NBA All-Rookie Second Team as he averaged 9.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.9 asssists, .7 steals and .7 blocks in 26.2 minutes per game, but overall he was a disappointment and got traded to Phoenix Suns after two seasons with the Timberwolves.
Picked 6th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by Minnesota Timberwolves.

Another great high school player was point guard Jonny Flynn who won the New York state public high school and federation championships in 2005.

In his senior season Flynn averaged 26.7 points, 6.0 assists, 3.5 steals and 3.3 rebounds per game and was named New York State Mr. Basketball, a McDonald's All-American, Second-team Parade All-American and also got selected to play for the 2007 USA Basketball Junior National Select Team.

His college career at Syracuse started equally well as Flynn in his first college game ever scored 28 points to beat former Orange standout Carmelo Anthony's record for most points in a freshman's debut.
He ended the season averaging 15.7 points and 5.3 assists per game while also earning Big East Rookie of the Year honors.

In his sophomore season Flynn led the Orange to a Big East championship game and was named Big East Tournament's MVP. After the season he declared himself eligible for the upcoming 2009 NBA draft.

There are numerous of teams that have missed out on extremely talented players because of their position (Portland choosing Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan because they drafted shooting guard Clyde Drexler the year before), but the 2009 draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves is not one of them.

Minnesota had both the 5th and the 6th pick that year, and chose point guard Ricky Rubio with the 5th pick and another point guard in Jonny Flynn with their sixth pick.
They chose Ricky f*cking Rubio and 6 ft tall Jonny f*cking Flynn over other guards like Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday and Jeff Teague... This pick wasn't anything like the pick of Derrick Williams, this pick was stupid even then.

Flynn was good enough to earn NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors as he averaged 13.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.0 blocks in 28.9 minutes per game.

However in the summer of 2010 Flynn underwent a hip surgery and only managed to average 5.3 points and 3.4 assists in 53 games during his sophomore season.

When the season was over Flynn got traded to Houston Rockets where he played 11 games before again being traded to Portland Trail Blazers where he played 18 games before going to Australia where he actually got selected to the NBL All-Star Team in 2012 and All-NBL Second Team in 2013.

Meanwhile Steph Curry is Steph Curry.
Picked 14th overall in the 2005 NBA Draft by Minnesota Timberwolves.

Shooting guard Rashad McCants, yet another high school star player.
McCants won the New Hampshire Player of the Year award back-to-back in 2000 and 2001, and was selected a McDonald's All-American and Parade All-American in 2002 while leading New Hampton to the New England Prep School Class A championship and being named MVP of the title game.

He played college ball for North Carolina where he as a freshman averaged 17.5 points per game and was voted to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie Team.

McCants improved even further during his sophomore season, averaged 20 points per game and was selected to the All-ACC First Team.

In his final season with North Carolina McCants was selected to the All-ACC Third Team and helped his team beat Illinois to win the NCAA title in 2005.

After being picked by Minnesota in the 2005 NBA draft McCants had a lot of troubles with injuries in his first two NBA seasons and only managed to play just above 16 minutes per games in 116 games.
Even though this was disappointing for Timberwolves fans there was still hope in before his third season.

McCants delivered, broke into the starting lineup by the end of the season while averging 14.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and .9 steals per game and shooting .453 from the field and .407 from three.

He didn't receive as much playing time in his fourth season, and was subsequently traded to Sacramento Kings after playing 34 games for Minnesota in 2008 - 2009.

In before the 2009 - 2010 season McCants signed a contract with Houston Rockets, but after revealing an abdomen problem his contract was retracted on the second day of training camp.

He then bounced around some in the D-League and never made it back the the NBA.
Picked 4th overall in the 1994 NBA Draft by Minnesota Timberwolves.

Donyell Marshall was a star forward at University of Connecticut where he was selected to the First-team All-Big East in 1993 and 1994, was named a Consensus first-team All-American and unanimous pick as Big East Player of the Year while averaging 25.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in 1994.

After that season Marshall declared eligible for the 1994 draft.
As Grant Hill was picked with the 3rd overall pick that year, Minnesota picked Marshall with the 4th pick, but only 40 games into the season they traded him for soon to become All-Star power forward Tom Gugliotta to the Golden State Warriors.

With the Warriors Marshall improved his numbers to average 14.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.2 blocks per game while being selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

He actually became a pretty good player and spent 15 seasons in the NBA, averaging 11.2 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks in 26.2 minutes per game in 957 regular season games.

Even though Minnesota traded away Marshall before he could develop into something and missed out on Juwan Howard, Eddie Jones and Jalen Rose that year they at least got something of value back for the trade.

As of Donyell Marshall, he's now coaching the Central Connecticut Blue Devils.

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