27 Teams In 27 Days: Meet The Iowa Wolves

By Jake Winderman | August 30, 2018

Team: Iowa Wolves

First Season: 2007-2008 (Iowa Energy)

Affiliate: Minnesota Timberwolves

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Arena: Wells Fargo Arena

Head Coach: Scott Roth

Former Franchise Names: Iowa Energy (2007-2017)

Mascot: Alpha

2017-2018 Finish: 24-26 (3rd in Midwest)

2017-2018 Accolades: Amile Jefferson (All-NBA G League Second Team)

2018 NBA G League 1st Round Pick(s): 11th

Current Two-Way Players: Jared Terrell (Rhode Island)

Notable Alumni: Hassan Whiteside, Joel Anthony, Earl Barron, Daequan Cook, Xavier Henry, James Johnson, Courtney Sims, Anthony Tolliver, Damien Wilkins, Jarnell Stokes, James Ennis

The Iowa Wolves joined the NBA G League as an expansion team during the 2007-2008 season along with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, Utah Flash (Delaware Blue Coats) and Rio Grande Valley Vipers. During a name-the-team contest, fans were given the choice to choose between the nicknames Corncobs, Maize, River Rats, Scarecrows and Thoroughbreds. Ultimately, the Wolves decided to go with the nickname Energy even after the fan vote. Their first head coaching hire was Nick Nurse, the current head coach of the Toronto Raptors. The Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls signed on as Iowa’s original affiliates.

The Energy saw rapid success in their first few years, qualifying for the playoffs in 5 of their first 7 seasons. They won their first and only championship to date in 2011, taking down the Rio Grande Valley Vipers two games to one behind NBA G League MVP Curtis Stinson’s scoring outburst. In total, the Wolves have garnered three G League MVP trophies via Courtney Sims (2009), Curtis Stinson (2011) and Othyus Jeffers (Co-MVP 2014).

In addition to their MVP hardware, Iowa has had 23 NBA Call-Ups in franchise history including Hassan Whiteside, Anthony Tolliver, Courtney Sims, Earl Barron, Jarvis Varnado, James Ennis and Wayne Selden Jr. The Wolves have also had 8 players named to All-NBA G League Teams including Courtney Sims (1st Team), Cartier Martin (1st/3rd), Curtis Stinson (1st (2x)), Earl Barron (3rd), Othyus Jeffers (1st/2nd), Damien Wilkins (3rd), Alex Stephenson (1st) and Amile Jefferson (2nd).

Before settling into a single-affiliation with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Iowa Wolves had previously held affiliations with 7 different NBA teams including the Miami Heat (2007-2008), Chicago Bulls (2007-2014), Phoenix Suns (2008-2011), New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans (2011-2014), Washington Wizards (2011-2014), Denver Nuggets (2012-2014) and Memphis Grizzlies (2014-2017). The Energy were an affiliate of the Timberwolves between 2013 and 2014 before becoming the single-affiliate of the team in 2017. The Iowa Wolves were renamed that same season as part of a rebranding of the franchise to better align with the Timberwolves’ logo and color scheme.

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