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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Timberwolves Will Draft First, Knicks The Big Loser Of The Lottery

Illustration for article titled Timberwolves Will Draft First, Knicks The Big Loser Of The Lottery

The NBA held the annual draft lottery Tuesday night, and as usual it provided drama in equal measures of hope and disappointment. This is the order teams will be picking in next month:

  1. Minnesota Timberwolves
  2. Los Angeles Lakers (moved up two picks)
  3. Philadelphia 76ers
  4. New York Knicks (moved down two picks)
  5. Orlando Magic
  6. Sacramento Kings
  7. Denver Nuggets
  8. Detroit Pistons
  9. Charlotte Hornets
  10. Miami Heat
  11. Indiana Pacers
  12. Utah Jazz
  13. Phoenix Suns
  14. Oklahoma City Thunder

Here are a few quick thoughts on how everything shook out.

Minnesota, Eh?

The Timberwolves will pick first, which probably means deciding which big man they want: Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns. Whoever they select will join Andrew Wiggins in the “potential superstar” category, and Zach LaVine and Ricky Rubio in the beginning of a talented young core. In a funny quirk, the Timberwolves will have the last three number one picks on their roster.


#LakerLuck #GoodDay

Did Kobe make an almost funny poop joke?


Yes, yes he did.

With consensus 1a and 1b picks, the Lakers are in a pretty good spot, probably picking whichever of Okafor and Towns the Timberwolves pass on. Slotted alongside Julius Randle, the Lakers potentially have their frontcourt of their future. The backcourt ... not so much.

The 76ers Don’t Cash In Just Yet

The 76ers could have advanced to the next step in their tank and rebuild—actually having decent players on their roster—if things broke just right. Instead of having three lottery picks, though, they’ll have just one. The pick they own from the Lakers was top 1-5 protected and the pick they own from the Heat was top 1-10 protected, but neither of those teams fell down in the lottery. The Lakers pick is top 1-3 protected next year, while the Heat pick is still top 1-10 protected.


They’re still adding Joel Embiid and whatever non-Okafor and non-Towns player they select to their roster next season—and 2014 no. 10 pick Dario Saric might be coming over from Europe as well—but they could’ve had two more.


The Knicks had the second worst record in the league, but will only have the fourth draft pick after their name didn’t come up in the top three. They have a lot of room under the salary cap, and a win-now owner and president, so there is already speculation that they are going to trade the damn thing!


Anything else about the lottery strike you as interesting? Let us know in the comments.


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