In year 25, are the Wolves ready to break the KG curse?


There are two eras in Minnesota Timberwolves history: With Kevin Garnett, and without Kevin Garnett.

The 12 seasons Minnesota had Garnett ('95/'96-'06/'07), they made the playoffs eight consecutive years, eclipsing 50 wins four times, while averaging 41.75 victories per year in the 82-game NBA season.

In the 12 years without KG, six before and six after Da' Kid, Minnesota is averaging 21.75 victories a year, having made the playoffs a grand total of zero times, while going through nine coaches, the ninth of which is current head man Rick Adelman, who is quickly approaching becoming the Wolves second most tenured coach in franchise history.

Garnett owns seven of the top 10 scoring seasons in franchise history, eight of the top 10 rebounding years, seven of the top 10 seasons in blocks, even two of the top 10 seasons in steals.

Minnesota hasn't finished above second-to-last in their division without Garnett, while the Boston Celtics, who Garnett has spent every post-Minnesota season with until now, averaged nearly 53 wins and won a NBA title with KG, while making the playoffs every year.

When the Wolves traded Garnett, they got Al Jefferson, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, and Gerald Green, along with two first-round picks, one of which turned into Wayne Ellington, the other Jonny Flynn.

Telfair, billed as the "The Next Lebron James" by ESPN when he was in high school, is in China, having played two unproductive years with Minnesota.

Flynn isn't quite Walt Frazier or Earl Monroe, and spent just two years with the Wolves and three in the NBA before also ending up in China.

Ratliff, aging at the time with his best years in the rear view mirror, played just 10 games for Minnesota, and is now retired.

Green appeared in 29 games for the Wolves, starting none, and spent two years in Russia before returning to the NBA two years ago.

Gomes spent his three best years with Minnesota, before fizzling out in Los Angeles, and is now clinging onto NBA hope in Oklahoma City.

Ellington never got above seven points per game in his three seasons with the Wolves, and he's now with Dallas.

Jefferson was easily the best return the Wolves got from the deal, spending three years with Minnesota before being dealt to Utah for two first round picks and Kosta Koufas.

Koufas started one game for Minnesota, while one of those first round picks became Lazar Hayward, who was just cut by New Orleans after playing in four games for Minnesota last year.

The other pick Minnesota got in the Jefferson deal was given to Houston in the trade for Chase Budinger, who has had two knee surgeries and played in just 23 games since being acquired in 2012. He is out indefinitely following the second surgery.

In summary, the players Minnesota received in the deal spent a combined 15 seasons with Minnesota, all of them were gone in three years or less, and three of them are currently playing overseas or have played overseas. The only player with a connection to the deal still on the roster? Budinger, who has amounted to an injured-reserve spot for Minnesota.

In fact, Minnesota accomplished more in the Wally Szczerbiak trade to Boston than they did in the Garnett swap, turning one of the conditional second round picks they received for Wally into Nikola Pekovic.

All those astounding KG numbers and once-Wolf players summaries later, it's obvious Garnett was franchise altering when he was here, and even more franchise altering now that he's not.

Is Minnesota in for another dismal non-Garnett year, or behind another Kevin and the only thing Minnesota has to show for two megadeals with Boston, that being Pekovic, are they ready to break out of a franchise-long Garnett-less slump?

Tomorrow, we'll head out on this 82-game journey to finding out together.

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