Nobody deserves more credit for the Warriors’ dynasty than the Minnesota Timberwolves, an embattled franchise known for its sordid history of draft debacles, missed opportunities and wasted resources. Never have the T-Wolves whiffed harder than in 2009, when they had not one, but two chances to draft Davidson guard Steph Curry, who the Warriors would select with the seventh overall pick.
Neither of the players Minnesota drafted ahead of Curry panned out—Jonny Flynn was a spectacular bust while Ricky Rubio, at his apex, was never anything more than a league-average starter. Curry, of course, would go on to be the greatest shooter of all-time, changing the course of NBA history with his unprecedented dominance from beyond the arc.
Though Curry remains the Warriors’ unquestioned focal point, it’s debatable whether they would have won a fourth title without Andrew Wiggins, a late bloomer who played his best when the lights shined brightest, smothering Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum throughout the NBA Finals. For Wiggins, the switch flipped on as soon as he traded his T-Wolves threads for Warriors blue and gold, finally reaching his potential after six underwhelming years in Minnesota.
As a debt of gratitude, Mychal Thompson, father of Warriors star Klay Thompson, thinks the Timberwolves should get a ring for inadvertently facilitating one of the great sports dynasties of our lifetime.
Though not as accomplished as his son (who, by all accounts, had a phenomenal time at Monday’s victory parade), Mychal was a pretty good player in his day, winning two championships—both with the Lakers—over a 13-year playing career. Notably, the elder Thompson was chosen with the first pick of the 1978 NBA Draft, five spots before Hall-of-Fame forward Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics.
The Wolves also passed on Thompson in the 2011 draft, choosing Derrick Williams, a career 8.9-ppg scorer now playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel, over future All-Stars Thompson, Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler.