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.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
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

Jose Berrios

Report: Twins could be 'aggressive sellers' ahead of trade deadline

José Berríos and Nelson Cruz could be in high demand in the coming weeks.

Screen Shot 2021-06-22 at 7.49.39 PM

Why the Timberwolves haven't lost the D'Angelo Russell trade...yet

The Wolves' offseason got more challenging but not impossible.

Pixabay - water surface

2-year-old dies a week after being pulled from Ham Lake pond

The boy had been at Lions Park with family and friends.

Facebook - Dinosaur Drive-Thru image

50 animatronic dinosaurs to take over Mall of America parking lot

Dinosaur Drive-Thru opens June 24 and runs through July 11.

new ulm police department squad car

Police: Man who shot himself during traffic stop has died

He died in a Twin Cities hospital early Wednesday.

Flickr - Voyagerous - Christine Warner

MN's lone National Park is also one of the least popular in the country

Travelers are clearly overlooking what northern Minnesota has to offer.

Elton John

Elton John confirms rescheduled St. Paul dates for farewell tour

"I'm going to go out in the biggest possible way, performing at my very best," John said.

Alex, Curt and Steven Boesl

3 Minnesotans honored with Carnegie Medals for heroic acts

The award is the highest honor for civilian heroism in North America.

police tape, crime scene

Police discover woman dead at Twin Cities home following welfare check

Officers also found "multiple" children on the scene, all of them unhurt.

bear cub

Bear clambers into northern MN home through kitchen window

A black bear in the house isn't something you see every day.

Ambulance hospital emergency

5 teens hurt in rollover crash near Hutchinson

The crash happened before 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Pixabay - Crappie fish

MN DNR: Please call us if you find a large group of dead fish

The agency says hot weather might be contributing to recent die-offs.

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.

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.

The Wolves' chances in the NBA Draft Lottery

Minnesota has about a one in five chance to land in the top three of the NBA Draft.

The Wolves' chances in the NBA Draft Lottery

Minnesota has about a one in five chance to land in the top three of the NBA Draft.