MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The NBA Draft Lottery will be held Tuesday night, where teams will learn their draw for the first round of the draft.
Up until recently, the Timberwolves have had little to no luck in the draft lottery. That changed two years ago, when they got the No. 1 overall pick and took Karl-Anthony Towns with it.
The order of the draft used to be determined by team records. The team with the worst record the previous season got the No. 1 pick. The team with the second-worst record got the second pick, and so on.
But the NBA changed its draft process after teams that knew they wouldn’t be going to the playoffs faced accusations of tanking, or intentionally losing games to secure a higher draft pick. The NBA went to a lottery process in 1985. It became modified with that process, and teams with the worst records had a better chance than others, but weren’t guaranteed, a top pick.
Tuesday night, there will be 14 ping pong balls used to determine the lottery draft order. They represent each of the 14 non-playoff teams.
By finishing with the sixth-worst record in the NBA this past season, the Timberwolves have a slim 5.3 percent chance to get the No. 1 pick again. If it doesn’t get a top three pick, Minnesota will likely do no better than sixth and no worse than ninth.
The NBA Draft is set for June 22.