Best Timberwolves Player (2009)

Al Jefferson

Yes, Big Al bit the dust midseason with a torn ACL, but his on-the-block dominance up to that point leaves us no choice but to name him the best Timberwolves player. Arguably the best low-post scorer in the game (certainly the most elusive), Jefferson was, until his early-February injury, movin' on up the NBA hierarchy. He expanded his arsenal of up-and-unders and wily hook shots to include a butter-smooth mid-range jumper that rendered him damn near unguardable at times. His 23.1 points per game led all Western Conference bigs, and he was one of only three players in the league to average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game (the others being Tim Duncan and Dwight Howard; not bad company). Jefferson's stat line left many a Wolves fan wondering aloud: What's a dude gotta do to make the All-Star Game? Chalk it up to his toiling away in small-market obscurity (the Wolves have yet to play a nationally televised game this season) or—more likely—the Wolves' on-court mediocrity. Whatever the case, the All-Star snub reinforced the sense that Jefferson is the league's best-kept secret. KG he ain't, but if he stays healthy—and if the young Wolves continue to improve—Al Jefferson will be a household name for seasons to come.


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