Wolves look to end draft lottery losing streak

The Minnesota Timberwolves hope to finally end one of the stranger “losing” streaks in the NBA.

The Wolves have never moved up in the NBA draft lottery, going 0-for-21. Minnesota has moved down 11 times and stayed put 10 (although one of those netted the Wolves the No. 1 overall pick and Karl-Anthony Towns).

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In 2017, we went over each of Minnesota’s draft results before that year’s lottery. The Wolves ended up moving down one slot in that one, too, from No. 6 to No. 7. Minnesota wasn’t in the lottery in 2018 after making the playoffs.

This year, Minnesota is slated to pick 10th. That’s not exactly a prime spot to move up. However, it’s better than in year’s past.

From 2005-18, the team slotted 10th had just a 1.1% chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick, 1.3% for No. 2 and 1.6% for No. 3, with an 87.0% chance of remaining at No. 10, 8.9% moving down to 11 and 0.2% to No. 12.

But starting this year, the NBA changed the odds. Previously, the worst team had a 25% chance of staying at No. 1. Now, the worst three teams all have a 14.0% chance of landing the top pick. That filters down to the other teams as well.

For example, Minnesota’s chances to get the No. 1 pick in the lottery are now 3.0%. Not exactly stellar, but better than 1.1%. The Wolves have a 3.3% chance to land the No. 2 pick, 3.6% No. 3 and 4.0% No. 4.

However, this also means the chances of staying at No. 10 have also diminished, but of course is still the most likely landing point. The Wolves have a 65.9% chance of remaining in their slot, 18.9% chance of moving down to No. 11, 1.2% to slide to No. 12 and less than a .1% chance of falling to No. 13 or 14.

In order for the Wolves to move down, one of the teams behind them in the standings will have to have struck it rich in the lottery. If you see the Lakers, Hornets, Heat or Kings come up in the top four, it’s time to start banging your head against the wall (again).

Minnesota is taking a new direction and approach after the hiring of Gersson Rosas as President of Basketball Operations. Maybe he can bring the Wolves some luck in the lottery as well.