Skip to main content

Where the Wolves' lottery odds stand with 3 games to go

It's likely Golden State will have a 72.4% chance to get Minnesota's pick.
Anthony Edwards

Minnesota's 119-100 win over the Detroit Pistons Tuesday night was good news for building a winning culture and bad news for the Wolves' odds of keeping their 2021 NBA Draft pick. 

The pick belongs to the Golden State Warriors unless it falls within the top three, all thanks to the trade that sent Andrew Wiggins to the Warriors and brought point guard D'Angelo Russell to Minnesota. 

With three games left in the season, the Wolves now have the sixth-worst winning percentage in the NBA. Not long ago they had the worst winning percentage, but the Houston Rockets, Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic have all found ways to be worse. 

It's becoming increasingly likely Minnesota finishes with the sixth-worst record. Finishing sixth-worst means they have a 27.6% chance at a top-three pick in the draft, whereas the three worst teams have a 40.1% chance at a top-three selection. 

And top three is all that matters for Minnesota. They could land the fourth pick in the draft but still lose it to the Warriors as part of the Wiggins-Russell deal. 

If the NBA Draft Lottery was held today – the actual lottery will happen June 22 – the percent chance at a top-three pick for each team would be as follows. 

  1. Houston Rockets (16-53) - 40.1%
  2. Detroit Pistons (20-50) - 40.1%
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder (21-49) - 40.1%
  4. Cleveland Cavaliers (21-48) - 36.6%
  5. Orlando Magic ((21-48) - 31.6%
  6. Minnesota Timberwolves (22-47) 27.6%

The Wolves can't finish any better than sixth-worst in the NBA. 

At the end of the day, even if the Wolves had finished with the worst record in the league they'd still be underdogs to keep their pick, considering there would've been a 59.9% chance they lost it to the Warriors. But finishing sixth-worst pushes the odds of the Warriors getting Minnesota's pick to 72.4%. 

With lottery luck, Minnesota could head into the 2021-22 season with a core of Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jared Vanderbilt and one of the top prospects in the draft: Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green or Jonathan Kuminga. 

Without lottery luck, the Wolves still have a very strong core – at least that's the case if the way they've played since Chris Finch replaced Ryan Saunders as head coach. Minnesota is 15-23 under Finch, though they are 8-5 in their last 12 and 15-18 since the All-Star break. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-08-13 at 1.26.13 PM

Workers at Minneapolis Trader Joe's become 2nd in nation to unionize

The vote was certified by the National Labor Relations Board Friday.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Driver killed in ATV crash in Brooklyn Park

The crash occurred in Monroe Park Friday night.

ambulance

Woman killed by suspected drunk-driver in St. Louis County

The crash occurred on Highway 21 in Embarrass Township Friday night.

Jaelyn Campbell

11-year-old girl missing from Mille Lacs County

Jaelyn Campbell was last seen in Onamia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 1.58.08 PM

2 ejected, 1 killed in crash that closed southbound I-35

The State Patrol says neither were wearing seat belts.

best buy

Best Buy makes job cuts weeks after warning of soft sales

The Richfield retailer has been dealing with a shift in consumer trends.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.26.20 PM

Man makes 'vague comments' about Jewish people, smashes own car with club

It happened at a course that was founded as a Jewish country club 100 years ago.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 9.59.07 PM

4 abandoned puppies found in a bucket in Willmar

The puppies were in good health when they were discovered.

Minneapolis police

Suspect of home invasion, murder in Minneapolis arrested in Wisconsin

There have been 57 deaths reported as homicides in Minneapolis this year.

Carson McCoy

Charges: Man stole handgun from house, fired at motorcyclists from car

A chaotic scene that led to a police chase unfolded after an alleged burglary in Ham Lake.

Mounds view 7 - crime scene

BCA's Uniform Crime Report shows violent crime in MN spiked in 2021

The report details violent crime trends in the seven-county metro and Greater Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 4.49.22 PM

Search for vulnerable man, 66, missing from Brooklyn Park

Alex Ramirez was last seen in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Related

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves getting hot could put NBA Draft Lottery chances at risk

There's a big difference between finishing with the third-worst record and the sixth-worst record.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Your guide to the Timberwolves' 2020 NBA Draft Lottery odds

Kyle Ratke is covering the draft process from head to toe.

Ryan Saunders

Wolves sprinting towards high pick in NBA Draft

Finishing with one of the three-worst records is best for NBA Draft Lottery chances.

Wolves get 1st-round pick back thanks to the Rubio trade

They own Oklahoma City's first-round pick, and it's not bad.

Jarret Culver

Report: Wolves looking to trade for 2nd lottery pick in NBA Draft

All eyes are on the Wolves as they own three of the first 33 picks in the draft.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves enter offseason with big questions that need answers

The Timberwolves have an extended offseason, but what will they do with it?