From 1 to 35,535: Speaking of the Number 5

The Timberwolves have had mixed success in the draft, certainly, but 5th overall pick seems to be their lucky slot:

1995 - KG

1996 - Ray Allen

2009 - Ricky Rubio

1993 - Isaiah "J.R" Rider

2008 - Kevin Love

Okay, we traded Allen away immediately and didn't actually draft Love - we traded for him on draft night - but you get the drift. Two surefire Hall of Fame guys, two whom we hope attain that status eventually, and Rider, who, though not the most beloved Wolf, was a decent NBA pro. He made the All Rookie First Team and won the Slam Dunk Contest in 1991 and averaged 19 points a game in his three years here.

The subject of this post was also a #5 overall pick - though not by MN, fortunately. By the time he suited up and played his 13 minutes for us, he was well on his way to becoming one of the worst lottery picks of all time. Can you name him if I spot you five (there's that number again!) "I"s? Answer after the jump.

Georgian Nikoloz Tskitishvili, 29, was the #5 pick of the Denver Nuggets in 2002. A 7 ft., 225 lb. forward, he signed as a free agent with the T'wolves in August, 2005 and was traded five months later to Phoenix for the 2nd round pick that eventually became the equally unpronounceable Loukas Mavrokefalidas.

Nikoloz saw action in five games for MN with a WS/48 of -0.331. 2006 was his last year in "our league" and he has since bounced around, currently playing for a team in the Iranian league.

So how bad was he? Let's compare him to Darko. These are career numbers:

NT: 5.2 PER -0.039 WS/48

DM: 12.3 PER 0.040 WS/48

Surprisingly, Darko has only played 36 more NBA games than Nikoloz.


As a rookie, Skita brought his mom and little brother to live with him in Denver. Maybe his NBA career never panned out (pun not really intended), but at least he got his shot at the bigs, made some good money, and have some good times with his family in America, judging by this photo.

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