T-Wolves Win NBA Draft Lottery
Since 2004 no team with the best odds to win the NBA draft lottery had actually won the lottery and received the opportunity to choose first in the NBA draft. That drought is now over, as on Tuesday the Minnesota Timberwolves won the rights to pick first in the upcoming NBA draft on June 25th.
The Wolves will be looking to add another piece to a young group that has a bright future ahead of them. Last year, the Wolves traded Kevin Love to the Cavaliers in return for the 2014 number one overall pick, Andrew Wiggins. He went on to win Rookie of the Year honors this last season with Minnesota.
They also received the 2013 number one overall pick Anthony Bennett, who hasn't yet met expectations, but has shown the potential to be a key contributor for the Wolves moving forward. With this year's number one pick belonging to Minnesota, the Wolves will have the top picks from the last three NBA drafts on their roster.
With Ricky Rubio, Andrew Wiggins, Zach Lavine, Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad, and Gorgui Dieng all under 25 years of age, the Wolves have a strong core of youthful players that are continuing to get better and growing together. On draft day they will look to add to that plethora of youth and will have their pick of the litter.
The Wolves will most likely be choosing a big man with the first overall pick, as they already have a strong group of young guards with Rubio, Lavine, and Muhammad. To many, for the Wolves it comes down to two guys: Karl Anthony-Towns, or Jahlil Okafor.
Towns is a 6'11" power forward from Kentucky. Though his numbers don't wow people, many believe he has more upside than any other player in the draft, similar to the report on Andrew Wiggins a year ago.
He averaged a modest 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds a game for the Wildcats, but made his biggest contribution in the NCAA tournament elite eight, scoring 25, and carrying the offensive load for his Wildcats en route to a win that sent Kentucky to their second straight final four.
Okafor, standing at 6'11" had one of the best seasons in the country last year, which earned him and his Duke Blue Devils a National Championship.
He is incredibly talented on the offensive side of the ball, but many fear he will be a poor defender on the pro level.
Okafor manhandled opponents as he averaged 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds a game. The Center's most impressive stat though, may be that he was incredibly efficient, shooting an unprecedented 66.4% from the field.
The Timberwolves will have a little over a month to make their final decision on who to take number one. A lot of pressure comes with this decision, which will greatly impact the future of the franchise. But its pressure that every other team in the NBA would love to have.