No. 27 Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves were founded in 1989, but the most important event in team history happened in 1995 with the arrival of Kevin Garnett.

Drafted directly out of high school, Garnett changed the history of the franchise and brought them to heights they had never reached before. With the future Hall of Famer leading the way, the Timberwolves made the playoffs several times, but it was the 2003-04 season that lives long in the memory of Wolves’ fans. Garnett won the NBA MVP and the Wolves won their first two playoff series in history, advancing all the way to the Western Conference finals.

That team wasn’t all about Garnett either, Wally Sczcerbiak, for example, was a great scorer. After the Garnett era ended, Minnesota was searching for a new superstar and they found him with Kevin Love. Love was a great three-point shooter and rebounder, recording 53-straight double-doubles, an NBA record.

Love would eventually be traded to the Cavs, but in the trade the Wolves acquired Andrew Wiggins, who, along with Karl-Anthony Towns, is helping to lead the team into the future.

Check out the cards and bios for all the players on the team below and click on the cards to see if they are available for purchase on the Beckett Marketplace.

No. 28: New Orleans Pelicans

Coming on the heels of team No. 28 the Charlotte Hornets, it’s only appropriate that team No. 28 is the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans came to New Orleans from Charlotte as the Hornets in 2002 and played under that name until 2013 when they chose their more state-appropriate nickname.

The Pelicans have been marked by two distinct eras in their nearly two decades in New Orleans. The first era consisted of the Chris Paul-David West years, with Paul leading the team as one of, if not the, best point guards in the league. He was the fourth pick of the 2005 NBA Draft and was immediately a star, leading the team into a new time of success. Paul was aided by the post play and leadership of David West. Together, the two were voted captains and took the team to several playoff appearances.

Paul and West eventually moved on, but New Orleans’ fortunes would change with the first overall pick in the 2012 Draft. With that first pick they chose Anthony Davis, who has been one of the best players in the entire NBA since being drafted. His rookie cards were highly sought-after at the time and continue to increase in value and popularity with each additional award that Davis picks up for his incredible play.

Check out Paul, West, Davis and the other players on the team and click on each card to see if it can be purchased on the Beckett Marketplace!

 

 

 

No. 29 Charlotte Hornets

The history of the Charlotte Hornets is one of the more confusing in professional sports. Originally founded in 1988 as the Charlotte Hornets, the franchise played in North Carolina until 2002 when they moved to New Orleans to become the New Orleans Hornets. Then, in 2004 a new franchise was established in Charlotte called the Bobcats. The Bobcats played under that name in Charlotte while the Hornets remained the name of the New Orleans team until 2013 when New Orleans renamed themselves the Pelicans. This freed Charlotte up to reclaim the Hornets name and, as part of the deal, the history of the franchise from 1988-2002.

So, that could have made this lineup somewhat complicated, but with the history of the franchise belonging to the modern Charlotte Hornets it ended up being fairly straightforward. We picked players from the Charlotte Hornets circa 1988-2002, the Bobcats from 2004-2013 and the current Hornets from 2013 on.

The 1990s were a good time for the Hornets with star players like Glen Rice, Dell Curry, Muggsy Bogues and Larry Johnson. The Bobcats era was less successful, despite the post play of Emeka Okafor and the emergence of star Gerald Wallace. These days, the team relies on superstar Kemba Walker, who keeps improving year over year.

Click on the card image in the slider to see if it’s available on the Beckett Marketplace.

 

 

 

No. 30: Memphis Grizzlies

We kick off the 30 Teams | 30 Weeks countdown to the most collectible franchise in NBA history with the Memphis Grizzlies. Founded in 1995 as the Vancouver Grizzlies, the team lasted six seasons in Canada before moving to Tennessee.

They decided to keep the original name, which is why there’s a team called the “Grizzlies” in a state known for its black bears. The Grizz never made the playoffs while in Vancouver, but their third season in Memphis (2003-04) resulted in their first playoff appearance. Unfortunately, the Grizzlies were swept in the first round of the playoffs for three-straight years. Then they didn’t make the postseason again until 2010-11.

That 2011 playoff run holds a special place in Memphis fans’ hearts. Not only did the Grizzlies get their first-ever playoff win, they became only the second eighth seed to beat the top seed in a seven-game series. The team, led by stars Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Shane Battier defeated the San Antonio Spurs in six games. It should come as no surprise that our legendary card lineup is made up mostly of players on the 2011 team, many of whom would lead the Grizzlies to six-straight playoff appearances. Gasol, Randolph and Conley were part of the 2012-13 team that went all the way to the Western Conference Finals.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these cards, you can find them on the Beckett Marketplace. Just click on the image of the cards in the slideshow to be taken to the marketplace.