After weeks of examining possible solutions to resuming play, the NBA announced its board of governors approved a 22-team return-to-play scenario set to take place in Orlando in July.
The Wolves, at 19-45, were not one of the teams to make the cut. But of interest to Wolves fans, the league included the procedure of the draft lottery in its release Thursday announcing the vote. Here are some key points as it relates to the Wolves and their potential two first-round picks.
What are the Wolves’ odds of getting the top pick?
Short answer: 14%, the most any team could have.
Longer answer: The league said the eight teams who didn’t make the cut and the six who don’t qualify for the playoffs at the bubble site will comprise the draft lottery. The NBA will determine odds for the top pick based on records as of March 11, meaning the Wolves are already locked in with the third-worst record and a 14% chance of the top pick. The three teams with the worst record have the same odds of the top pick and have a 52.1 % chance of staying in the top four.
Great! When can I tune in to see if they get the top pick and when is the draft?
The lottery will be August 25. The draft itself will be Oct. 15, three days after a proposed Game 7 of the finals would be.
What’s up with that Brooklyn first-round pick the Wolves acquired (via Atlanta) just before the trade deadline?
If you recall, the Wolves only get that pick if Brooklyn makes the playoffs. If the Nets are in the lottery, Brooklyn retains it. When the eight regular season games resume July 31, Brooklyn will start with a six-game lead over No. 9 seed Washington. The Nets are ahead of No. 8 seed Orlando by ½ game. The Nets could still fall to the No. 8 seed (or No. 9 seed, though that is highly unlikely) and end up in a play-in tournament with the Wizards. If the Nets lose that play-in tournament, they would officially be in the lottery and would retain the pick.
So there is still a chance the Wolves don’t get that pick from the Nets this year.
Will the Wolves trade their draft capital?
It could happen! There are still questions around the starting four spot even though the Wolves would like to re-sign Juancho Hernangomez. In a league that is likely to see the salary cap go down and with teams desperate to unload salary, it may be a way for the Wolves to acquire someone by cashing in cheaper draft capital.