Following the regular-season finale on Sunday night, we now know the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ final lottery odds for this summer’s NBA Draft.
The Wolves spent much of the season with the league’s worst record, but a return to relative health, a coaching change, and some tank-eriffic second halves by other teams (see: Oklahoma City, Houston, etc.) dropped Minnesota to No. 6 in the final reverse standings.
With the Timberwolves’ first-round draft pick only top-three protected, what does this mean for the Wolves’ chances at keeping their selection following the NBA Draft Lottery on June 22.
Reviewing Minnesota Timberwolves’ final NBA draft lottery odds
The Timberwolves owe their first-round draft pick to the Golden State Warriors as the final piece of the Feb. 2020 trade that sent D’Angelo Russell to the Wolves and Andrew Wiggins to the Warriors.
If the Wolves had finished anywhere in the bottom three, they would have had a 40.1 percent chance of landing a top-three pick.
If they had finished with the fourth- or fifth-worst record, they would have had a 34.1 percent chance of landing a top-three pick.
Now, in the No. 6 position, the Wolves’ odds of landing a top-three pick and thus keeping their selection have dropped to 27.6 percent. The inverse of that, of course, is that there is a 72.4 percent chance that the Warriors will be drafting somewhere between pick Nos. 4 and 10.
Upcoming NBA Draft-related dates to know for the Minnesota Timberwolves
The NBA Draft Combine is scheduled to make a return from June 21 to 27. In 2020, the combine was held at various sites around the country with some elements taking place virtually.
During the combine, the NBA Draft Lottery will occur on June 22. With no second-round pick this year (that selection was also included in the Russell-for-Wiggins swap), this is the date on which we will find out whether or not Timberwolves fans will have any incentive to watch the draft itself on July 29.
If Minnesota hits on their 27.4 percent chance to land in the top three, they’ll get a shot at Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham or Gonzaga’s (and Minnesota’s own) Jalen Suggs, among other intriguing prospects. Adding such a talent to a lineup with Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, Russell, and Malik Beasley would be a boon to the Wolves’ chance to build a sustainable playoff contender.
The more likely scenario, of course, is that the pick will be outside the top three and it will convey to Golden State.
But, anything can happen, and the Wolves’ decision to avoid tanking down the stretch was certainly the correct one from a cultural standpoint.
We’ll see if the basketball gods reward Gersson Rosas and Chris Finch come June 22.