In the 1993 NBA Draft, the Timberwolves acquired UNLV guard Isaiah Rider with the fifth overall pick. The 6-5, 215-pound Rider had averaged 29.1 points as a UNLV senior and was expected to bring his explosive offensive repertoire into the lineup as the Wolves prepared for the rest of the decade.
Woe was still the word for the Wolves in 1993-94. Minnesota lost five straight games to open the season and was 14-27 by midyear. The Wolves then managed only a 6-35 record in the second half and dropped their final 10 games to finish at 20-62. Although that record was seven games better than Dallas' final mark, the Mavericks beat Minnesota in five of their six head-to-head matchups.
Christian Laettner notched 16.8 points and 8.6 rebounds per game to top the Timberwolves in both categories. Rider was a surprise to some observers. He averaged 16.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.6 assists, earned a spot on the NBA All-Rookie First Team, and won the NBA Slam Dunk Championship at All-Star Weekend, which was held at Target Center.
Despite tremendous attendance, the Timberwolves were nearly sold to a group of investors that would have moved the team to New Orleans for 1994-95. The NBA Board of Governors vetoed the sale, however, and Glen Taylor promised to keep the team in Minneapolis. Also during the offseason, the Wolves replaced Sidney Lowe with new head coach Bill Blair.