The NBA is currently looking at re-starting their season. Unfortunately for the Minnesota Timberwolves, a re-start in play will likely not feature them in any capacity. The offseason is officially here.
Given the league is going to return with 22 total teams (just eight left out entirely, Minnesota Timberwolves included), that means the lottery may look a little bit different than usual. Just last year, the NBA changed the pick odds to discourage ‘tanking’. That means that the bottom-3 teams each had a 14% chance to get the first overall pick, rather than the worst overall team having a 25% chance, like the previous format.
However, given the number of teams not participating at all, it may be plausible that the league temporarily changes the lottery system (just for this year) to proportionately favor teams that were not included in the playoffs.
In terms of what to expect at this moment, it would not be an unsafe bet to just assume the NBA rolls with its current lottery system: including 14 teams with the same odds as 2019 for each pick.
However, with the possible inclusion of a play-in tournament for the final playoff spots in each conference, would the teams that lose in the play-in bracket be included in any draft lottery? How many teams would even be vying for one of those playoff spots, and if they aren’t included in the lottery, how would the odds be distributed across the teams that were not included in the remainder of the season.
The Timberwolves currently have the third-best pick odds. We truly do not know whether the lottery will remain the same, but after there is an official plan in place, there should be significantly more information. As it stands right now, the NBA seemingly has half-of-a-plan -- something lackluster in terms of what the NHL currently has going for it. Everything is bound to change and, should there be no increase in odds for teams not included in the new season format, it seems as though not every team benefits -- especially the Timberwolves.