The Timberwolves have a critical offseason, in large part because they finished with the NBA’s worst regular-season record — 16-66 — which means they have the best chance of landing the No. 1 overall draft pick. Here’s a look at the key offseason elements:
Those lottery balls: The Wolves have a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, which is more than 5 percentage points higher than the second-worst team, which has a 19.9 percent chance of netting the top pick.
Shorter fall: The Wolves can fall no lower than No. 4 in the draft, an important fact for an organization that never has moved up in the lottery draw. The second-worst team can fall to No. 5.
Kicking the tires: The NBA draft combine will be May 14-15 in Chicago — almost a week before the Wolves actually will know where they are selecting.
Luck of the draw: The Wolves’ position in the draft will become known May 19 when the league conducts its annual lottery.
The draft: The actual NBA draft will take place June 25 in New York City.
What’s at stake: The Wolves need a franchise center. The consensus top picks in this year’s draft are potential franchise centers: Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns.