Which Former Timberwolf Would You Want Back?

If I had a time machine, 2003 Sam Cassel would return to the Wolves. - USA TODAY Sports

The last theme day of the NBA off-season for the SBN NBA blogs has arrived. Today's subject...not so interesting for Wolves fans, so we'll have to try to make it so.

Here are the instructions I got for this one:

Next Wednesday, Sept. 18, is "Bring Back a Player Day" in which you get to bring back a player in his prime to add to your current roster.

Ha-ha-ha. And ha. Wait, I'm still laughing.

This article should be two words: Kevin. Garnett.


But that's no fun.

On the one hand, we could simply not participate in this theme day. But if I do that, I have to read all the emails all day with everyone else's postings and then I start to feel guilty. SB Nation: Guilting bloggers since 2003. (Hey Seth! Just kidding!).

So....we'll do what we have to in order to generate some debate and conversation, and leave KG out of this. Instead, I'll talk about a few other guys and maybe we'll do a poll.

Two weeks 'til training camp. Hold on everybody.

Wally Szczerbiak (circa 2001-02): Wally would certainly help this team offensively from the small forward spot. He could really shoot the ball. That year he shot 51% from the field and 45.5% from three. Paired with Kevin Martin, that would make a pretty incredible duo of wing shooters surrounding the inside play of Love and Pekovic. Very tough to stop, and would allow Adelman to limit Martin's minutes while also creating significantly more depth on the wing with both Budinger and Brewer available off the bench. On the other hand, there's a bit of a coals-to-Newcastle element to Wally's return. With Martin and Budinger already around, is another offense-first wing player really the best option? He wouldn't bring a lot of help on the defensive end, which is where the real need is.

Fred Hoiberg (circa 2003-04): Like Szczerbiak, a shooter on the wing, Fred posted a TS% of .611 that season while appearing in 79 games for the Wolves. More of a pure shooting guard, he was a much lower usage player who rarely turned the ball over. He was a quality defensive player as well, which would help playing behind Kevin Martin, but are we really talking about bringing back a guy to be a backup?

Sam Cassel (circa 2003-04): Maybe the best player on this list. That season, Cassel carried a 27% usage while shooting 49% from the field and 40% from three. And oh by the way, had a 38% assist rate (roughly the same as Ricky). He also was terrific in the playoffs that year until injury cut it short against the Lakers. Frankly, I think Cassel would be my choice. He and Ricky could play together in a small back court for significant minutes, and it would be lethal, especially with Martin waiting in a corner.

Rasho Nesterovic (circa 2002-03): OK, probably not. But I wanted some big man options, because this team could use another big probably as much as it could use anything, particularly someone with some defensive chops. I have to say, the franchise history here is not great. I almost listed Dean Garrett, but no. Rasho was a big body who helped out in the paint and on the defensive glass. He was not a great player.

Tom Gugliotta (circa 1996-97): A very high usage player that season (27%), his efficiency was only OK. Still, he was useful combo forward who worked hard on the boards and the defensive end. Like many of the players I have looked at for this article, probably a little better in memory then he actually was at the time.

Chauncey Billups (circa 2001-02): Worth mentioning as he was excellent in that final season in Minnesota, but simply not quite as good as Cassel was in 2003-04, who would be his main competition on this list.

I'll leave it there. There are several other players I took a look at, many from the earlier years of the franchise, but none of them were good enough to crack this list. However, if you want to suggest someone not here, please do so in the comments.

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