Fans of the Minnesota Timberwolves received great news yesterday as the team won the 2015 NBA Draft lottery. After finishing with the NBA's worst record,16-66, getting the number one pick in the NBA Draft provides beleaguered T'Wolves fans with hope after a season with few highlights.
With the first pick, the T'Wolves can snag Kentucky power forward Karl-Anthony Towns and pair him with last year's top overall pick, Andrew Wiggins. Towns and Wiggins, the NBA Rookie of the Year for the 2014–15 season, give the T'Wolves a super talented duo to build the franchise around. Providing depth behind Towns would be Anthony Bennett, the top overall pick from the 2013 NBA Draft.
Despite the woeful record, the T'Wolves have talent. Second year center Gorgui Dieng improved from his rookie season and along with Towns and Wiggins would help form a formidable front court.
Injuries forced point guard Ricky Rubio to miss most of the season but rookie Zach LaVine played impressively and Rubio could end up being a great trade asset. Guard/forward Shabazz Muhammad was playing extremely well the first half of the season before a torn ligament in his middle finger caused him to miss the final 44 games.
Adding a player of Town's talent and ability would be a boost for the Timberwolves and with a healthy roster, they could be competing for a playoff spot in a season or two.
The Los Angeles Lakers were also big winners in the NBA Draft Lottery, and will pick number two. The Lakers finished 21-61, the fourth best record in the NBA. Kobe Bryant doesn't have many games left in his NBA career so a so-called rebuild must be expedited.
With the second pick, the Lakers are afforded the opportunity to draft a cornerstone player in Duke center Jahlil Okafor, the 2015 ACC Player of the Year. Julius Randle, the Lakers' first round pick in last year's draft, missed the entire season after breaking his right tibia in the season opener. Randle returns healthy and pairing Okafor and Randle would give the Lakers a great young front court tandem.
Randle, Okafor and guard Jordan Clarkson, a surprise standout last season and named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, give the Lakers a trio of young players for the future. With a healthy Kobe and a big free agent or two, the Lakers could be back in the playoff hunt next season.
Here are the complete results of the NBA Draft Lottery:
1. Minnesota Timberwolves
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. New York Knicks
5. Orlando Magic
6. Sacramento Kings
7. Denver Nuggets
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Charlotte Hornets
10. Miami Heat
11. Indiana Pacers
12. Utah Jazz
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Oklahoma City Thunder
The 2015 NBA Draft will be held on June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.