The NBA draft lottery was delayed three months. The Minnesota Timberwolves are certainly feeling like the wait was worthwhile.
The Timberwolves won the lottery Thursday night, giving them the No. 1 pick. The lottery was conducted virtually because of the pandemic, with NBA officials doing the actual draw in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Golden State holds the No. 2 pick, Charlotte got the No. 3 pick and Chicago will pick fourth. The Hornets and Bulls both bucked some odds to move into the upper echelon.
“We know with the No. 1 pick we have the opportunity to draft an impact player who could immediately complement our young, strong core,” Timberwolves President Gersson Rosas said.
Chicago had a 32% chance of moving into the top four spots, Charlotte about a 26% chance. They leapfrogged four teams that had better top-four odds — Cleveland, Atlanta, Detroit and New York.
“I'm pretty sure whoever we get, it's going to be exciting," Hornets guard Devonte' Graham said.
The draft, originally scheduled for June, is set for Oct. 16. But nobody knows yet when the new draft picks will make their NBA debuts, since the start of the 2020-21 season is not yet determined.
The NBA had been hoping for a Dec. 1 start to the 2020-21 season, though Commissioner Adam Silver said on the ESPN telecast of that draft lottery that date now “is feeling a little bit early to me.”