Best NBA Draft steals of all time: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
Kevin Garnett may very well be the best defensive player in NBA history.
Deciding not to play college basketball, Garnett entered the NBA Draft straight out of high school — being the first high school player selected in the draft in 20 years.
The Minnesota Timberwolves picked Garnett with the No. 5 overall selection in the 1995 NBA Draft at the age of 19.
While the young power forward didn’t immediately earn a starting spot with the Timberwolves, he developed incredibly fast for his age.
By Garnett’s second year in the league, he became a full-time starter, earning a spot in the NBA All-Star Game and averaging 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.1 blocks and 1.4 steals per game.
That would just be the begin of his illustrious NBA career.
Garnett played 12 seasons with Minnesota before being traded to the Boston Celtics in Summer 2007. He became a 10-time All-Star, an eight-time All-NBA team selection, an eight All-Defensive team selection and a league MVP during his Minnesota tenure.
Although he experienced a massive amount of personal success, the Timberwolves only made it past the first round of the NBA playoffs once in Garnett’s career.
In Boston, Garnett became a member of the “Big 3” in reference to himself, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. In his first season with the Celtics, Garnett finally won his elusive NBA title, beating the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.
After six seasons in Boston and a short stint with the Brooklyn Nets, Garnett was traded back to the Timberwolves to finish his career. Although is production fell in his final season — in which he was 39 years old — Garnett was able to mentor the young team, effectively serving as an on-court coach.
The fifth pick in an NBA Draft is routinely expected to be a high quality player. Garnett easily exceeds “high quality,” being one of the best defensive big men to ever play the game.