For the second time in the past 10 years, the first of which brought stud center Karl-Anthony Towns to Minnesota, the Timberwolves are set to select first overall in the NBA Draft. The Warriors, who are salivating over the returns of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, will draft second (unless the pick is traded, which has been rumored as a possibility).
The official draft lottery order is as follows:
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
2. Golden State Warriors
3. Charlotte Hornets
4. Chicago Bulls
5. Cleveland Cavaliers
6. Atlanta Hawks
7. Detroit Pistons
8. New York Knicks
9. Washington Wizards
10. Phoenix Suns
11. San Antonio Spurs
12. Sacramento Kings
13. New Orleans Pelicans
14. Boston Celtics
Here's how those results stacked up against the pre-draft odds:
The Knicks' pick at eight resulted in a "double jump" to occur, boosting both the Hornets and the Bulls into the top four. Needless to say, Knicks fans are a *tad* enraged.
This year's group of talent is fairly open-ended near the top, with numerous candidates vying for the top draft selection. Many writers and analysts, including our own Dan Mennella (new mock draft coming soon!), expect the 6-foot-6 LaMelo Ball to go first overall and join his brother, Lonzo, in the association. Others see Georgia's explosive Anthony Edwards to draw looks at the top of the board, or Dayton's Obi Toppin to attract eyes after a breakout 2019-20 season. There's the Israeli League champion, Deni Avdija, and the 7-foot-1 freak athlete James Wiseman.
This is a completely different scenario than what we saw in 2019. Zion Williamson was the guy. He was the guy, whether or not the team who won the first pick already had a dominant power forward. He was the guy whether or not the team in question had a certain bias against Duke grads, or against guys with 40-plus-inch verticals, or against guys whose name began with "Z." Zion was the pick.
It'll be interesting to see which way the Timberwolves go. Their duo of D'Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns can be as good a core as any, and adding a young, uncapped talent in the draft could potentially make them playoff contenders in the near future. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports seems to think their choice is more clear than it may seem.
The draft will take place on October 16, 2020.