Keys To the Wolf Den: Lottery Can Make or Break Minnesota Timberwolves

Timber WolfAnalyst IIJanuary 28, 2010

LEXINGTON, KY - JANUARY 23:  John Wall #11 of the Kentucky Wildcats celebrates during the SEC game against the Arkansas Razorbacks on January 23, 2010 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 101-70.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves are currently the second-worst team in the league, and worst in the Western Conference.

That ultimately gives them the second-best chance of landing the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NBA draft, John Wall.

ESPN holds an NBA lottery mock draft, where you can simply press a button, and it will predict the lottery threshold by percentages of landing the No. 1 pick. For example, the New Jersey Nets having the worst record in the league, meaning that they have a 25 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick.

The Wolves have a 20 percent chance of landing that No. 1 pick.

I tested this very tool a total of 50 times, and came up with some very intriguing results. But first some shocking ones:

  • The Utah Jazz won the No. 1 pick one time, but ultimately, that pick is supposed to belong to the Knicks, who have the ninth-worst record in the league, and a two percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick. Scary
  • The Sacramento Kings won the No. 1 pick three times.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks won the No. 1 pick five times.
  • The Detroit Pistons won the No. 1 pick four times.

Now onto the Wolves. The following bullet points are as goes: the numbered pick followed by how many times the Wolves won that pick in the lottery.

  • (1) The Wolves won the No. 1 pick 10 times out of 50, exactly 20 percent.
  • (2) The Wolves won the No. 2 pick 8 times out of 50, exactly 16 percent.
  • (3) The Wolves won the No. 3 pick 4 times out 50, exactly 8 percent.
  • (4) The Wolves won the No. 4 pick 19 times out of 50, exactly 38 percent. Wow...
  • (5) The Wolves won the No. 5 pick 9 times out of 50, exactly 18 percent.

Based on this small sample, the percentage in which the Wolves will win the No. 1 pick is nearly identical to the percentage given in the lottery, it's only a tenth of a percentage off.

What's intriguing is that the Wolves drew the No. 4 and No. 5 pick significantly more than the second and the third pick.

Most mock drafts first five picks features John Wall first, then a combination of Evan Turner, Wesley Johnson, Derrick Favors, and Ed Davis.

With Favors and Davis both being power forwards, the Wolves have no need for either. Wesley Johnson, Evan Turner, and John Wall are all on the Wolves radar for their first lottery pick. But if the Wolves happen to land the No. 1 pick, they would have to draft John Wall despite already having two legitimate prospect point guards, along with Ricky Rubio playing overseas.

The trade value for Jonny Flynn, Ramon Sessions, and Ricky Rubio will rise immensely, while the Wolves would welcome their new franchise player to the mix. It would be wise for the Wolves to take advantage of trading situations, and trade for other lottery picks, as the Wolves are one of the few bottom-dweller teams with a plethora of first round picks and cap room, both vital for rebuilding a franchise.

Is John Wall better than Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn?

I don't know quite yet, in fact I won't know until around the midseason, but I do know that he's a combination of both.

He has the size and court vision of Ricky Rubio, with Flynn's tenacity and leadership, with his own cool, calm, and collected demeanor.

This lottery can make or break the Timberwolves, but hopefully they can finally grow to real Wolves instead of pups, and learn to hunt for their own.

Thanks for reading!