Minnesota sports history is filled with plenty of regrettable personnel moves. But the state's teams have also made their share of shrewd deals. As such, we are counting down our choices -- with many assists from folks on Twitter -- for the 25 best moves made via free agency, waiver claims or trades in the past 25 years of Twin Cities sports. (Note: Trades for draft picks count, but we are not including straight-up choices made in entry drafts such as Kevin Garnett or Joe Mauer). Weight was primarily given to the impact of the player or players obtained and the level of risk/boldness involved.
16 Latrell Sprewell trade: We all remember how he had to feed his family, the start of a crash-and-burn season for the Wolves in 2004-05 that the franchise is only now starting to make people forget. But that first season, the Wolves captured lightning in a bottle -- and something Kevin McHale threw against the wall really stuck. Obtained in a four-team trade that is far too complicated to spell out here (Terrell Brandon left the Wolves as part of it), Sprewell gave the Wolves grit and scoring from the wing, something they continued to search for nearly a decade later. He was part of MV3, and anything that happened after that one season was still worth it.
15 Sam Cassell trade: This is, of course, in reference to the acquisition of Cassell and not what he was ultimately dumped for after it all fell apart. But for one glorious season (and one not-so-glorious season) Cassell looked like a fantastic move by McHale. Minnesota got Cassell and Ervin Johnson from the Bucks for Anthony Peeler and Joe Smith. Cassell averaged 20 points per game, took late-game pressure off Kevin Garnett and helped elevate the Wolves from one-and-done to title contenders. Some still wonder if the Wolves would have won it all in 2004 if his back hadn't acted up in the conference finals.
14 Jeff Reardon: For a fan base that still has night tremors thinking about Ron Davis closing games in the early-to-mid-1980s, the Twins' acquisition of Reardon via trade with the Expos before 1987 is a soothing glass of warm milk. (Note: Technically this trade happened a few months more than 25 years ago, but we say it still counts within our time frame.) Reardon saved 104 games in three seasons, including 31 during the regular season in 1987. He had three postseason saves that year and didn't allow a run in four World Series appearances in helping Minnesota to its first title.