Here’s a look at the Minnesota Timberwolves’ odds of landing the top overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and where they’ll likely be choosing.
In what’s become like a home away from home for the franchise, the Minnesota Timerwolves will be taking part in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery. It’s an astounding 13th year in a row they’ll be present for the not-so-fun post-regular season festivities.
At the very least, they deserve credit for modest improvement in 2016-17. They closed the season with a -1.0 net rating, their best finish since the Kevin Love trade.
What’s more, they have one of the best young nuclei in the NBA; most of the teams featured in the lottery would kill to build around Karl-Anthony Townsor Andrew Wiggins, let alone both. Plus, that Zach LaVine guy is pretty good, too.
But, they’re not quite there yet. Which is why Tuesday night will be so vital for the team’s immediate future. They’re close, but their three young studs need help.
Thankfully, the 2017 NBA Draft is one of the deepest in recent memory, especially in the range where Minnesota will likely be picking.
The Wolves’ draft odds go as follows:
There’s a 77 percent chance Tom Thibodeau and Co. land either the sixth or seventh pick. But don’t totally discount their chances of receiving a selection in the top three spots, either, as there’s a solid 18.3 percent probability they strike gold.
If the lottery goes chalk and the Wolves pick at No. 6, it would be the fourth time they choose in that slot in franchise history. In 1999, they used the sixth overall pick on Wally Szczerbiak; in 2006, they went with Brandon Roy — immediately dealing him for the draft rights to Randy Foye; and in 2009, they took Johnny Flynn. (If memory serves me correctly, I think a pretty good player went directly after Flynn. Not positive, though.)
The second likeliest outcome has Minnesota picking at No. 7. If that comes to fruition, it’d be the third time they pick seventh overall, the first time coming in 1991 when they chose Luc Longley, and the second in 2007, when Corey Brewer was the guy.
Landing the No. 8 pick is the second-least likeliest outcome, but if it were to happen, it would be the first time the team from the North Star State picked in that spot.
And finally, if miracles are real and the Timberwolves land a top-three pick, it would be the fifth in the franchise’s relatively young history. They’ve selected first overall once (2013; Towns), second overall once (Derrick Williams in 2011) and third overall twice (Christian Laettner in 1992 and O.J. Mayo in 2008).
Cumulatively, that’s a pretty weak haul. But with Towns (and Wiggins) in the fold, recent history is trending in the right direction. And with just a bit more luck at the lottery on Tuesday night, the Wolves could take the leap to the next level even sooner than expected.