Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA)

International Players, 2023-24 Season

Nickeil Alexander-WalkerGuardCanada2023-24Toronto, Canada
Rudy GobertCenterFrance2023-24Saint-Quentin, France
Leonard MillerForwardCanada2023-24Scarborough, Canada

Minnesota Timberwolves Team History

The Minnesota Timberwolves, founded in 1989, have left an indelible mark on the NBA landscape, not only for their on-court prowess but also for their unique tradition of integrating international talent. While the team’s early years were marked by struggles to establish a winning culture, they found success in the late 1990s and early 2000s, largely due to the contributions of international players. One of the trailblazers in this regard was Radoslav “Rasho” Nesterović, hailing from Slovenia. Nesterović played a pivotal role as the Timberwolves made their first-ever playoff appearance in 1997. His defensive presence and rebounding prowess provided stability in the paint, setting a precedent for international players in Minnesota.

Following Nesterović’s tenure, the Timberwolves continued to embrace international talent, further solidifying their reputation as a global franchise. One standout example is Ricky Rubio, a crafty point guard from Spain, who dazzled fans with his slick passing and court vision. Rubio’s impact transcended statistics, but his numbers speak volumes: during his time with the Timberwolves, he averaged over 8 assists per game, showcasing his ability to orchestrate the offense. His arrival signaled a new era for the team, emphasizing the importance of international scouting and recruitment in building a competitive roster.

In recent years, the Timberwolves have continued to tap into the rich pool of international talent, with players like Rudy Gobert from France and Juancho Hernangómez from Spain. Gobert, in particular, has emerged as a cornerstone of the franchise, earning multiple Defensive Player of the Year (DPOY) selections and establishing himself as one of the league’s premier big men. His versatile skill set and dominant performances have elevated the Timberwolves’ profile on the global stage, further cementing their legacy as a team with a strong tradition of international players contributing to their success.