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Breaking down the NBA Draft Lottery odds for the Wolves

The 2019 NBA Draft Lottery is set to take place in less than a week in Chicago. Fifteen* teams will have representatives present waiting to find out their respective fates in June’s draft.

This is the first year in which the lottery odds and format has changed. Gone are the days in which the worst team in the league owned a 25% chance at a top selection, and in are the days in which the top four spots are selected instead of the top three.

New Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas will be representing the team on stage for the announcement. The Wolves played it relatively safe this the choice of him. Some teams choose to get creative with the selection of their representative with players, alumni, or other notable figures on the stage. For example, the New York Knicks are sending Patrick Ewing in hopes of landing the top selection.

In previous occasions the Wolves have had players such as Karl-Anthony Towns and Kevin Love or owner Glen Taylor on stage. Sending Rosas up there is a good way to put a face on what is a new era of Wolves basketball, even if it isn’t the flashiest way of doing things.

*Sacramento’s pick will be sent to either Philadelphia or Boston depending on where it lands. If it finishes second through 14th it will be Boston’s pick, if it is selected first overall it will be Philadelphia’s pick. That pick has the 14th-best odds of selecting first overall. Sacramento will not be present at the lottery but both Philadelphia and Boston will, thus the 15 teams.

Here are how the lottery odds break down for the Wolves. They can finish with the first, second, third, fourth, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, or 14th pick in the draft depending on how things shake out.

Along with the odds below, a number of players that may be available for selection at that position for the Wolves are also listed.

No. 1 overall – 3.0% chance

Well, it’s not the least likely scenario for the Wolves, which is a positive. The Wolves have a better chance of picking first than the Lakers, Hornets, Heat, and 76ers (from Sacramento). Obviously, this would be a huge win for the franchise and would likely change the course of trajectory for the current roster.

Best players available/likely selection: Zion Williamson

No. 2 overall – 3.3% chance

The odds are getting mildly better for the Wolves. Still not great, but stranger things have happened. The second pick wouldn’t be as earth-shattering as the top selection, but it would greatly help the situation in Minnesota right now.

Best players likely available: Ja Morant/RJ Barrett

No. 3 overall – 3.6% chance

Again, things slightly improve here for the Wolves. This wouldn’t bring as much fanfare or optimism for the franchise, but it certainly would be a big help.

Best players likely available: Ja Morant/RJ Barrett

No. 4 overall – 4.0% chance

This is where things are different this season for the lottery. In previous years the top three selections were drawn on the night of the lottery, but starting now it’s the top four picks. This gives the Wolves an additional opportunity to move up, even if the choice at fourth isn’t particularly great, the options here should be enticing.

Best players likely available: Cam Reddish, Jarrett Culver, De’Andre Hunter, Darius Garland

No. 10 overall – 65.9% chance

Here’s where the Wolves will most likely end up, which is exactly where they’re slotted in the lottery. They finished with the 10th-best odds to select No. 1 overall, so if they’re not selected for any of the top four picks, that’s where they’ll likely be.

Best players likely available: Darius Garland (maybe), Nassir Little, Brandon Clarke

No. 11 overall – 18.9% chance

If the Wolves end up selecting here it means that one of the teams behind them was selected in the top four of the lottery, pushing the Wolves back one spot.

Best players likely available: Brandon Clarke, Nassir Little, Grant Williams

No. 12 overall – 1.2% chance

Selecting 12th would mean that two of the four teams behind the Wolves in the lottery jumped up into the top four of the draft. This is pretty unlikely, but possible, and with the history of this franchise it can’t be ruled out.

Best players likely available: Nassir Little, Grant Williams, Romeo Langford, Coby White

No. 13 overall – >0.0%

If you’re correctly following along here then you’ve realized the 13th selection would mean that three of the four teams behind the Wolves jumped into the top four. It would be pretty stunning for everyone if that was the case.

Best players likely available: Grant Williams, Romeo Langford, Coby White, Tyler Herro

No. 14 overall – >0.0%

This is incredibly unlikely to happen, but there’s a nonzero chance that it does. If someone is trying to find evidence of the Wolves as a franchise being cursed, this would be at the top of the list.

Best players likely available: Romeo Langford, Coby White, Tyler Herro, Johntay Porter


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