Minnesota Timberwolves
(Andy Clayton-King/Associated Press)

The Minnesota Timberwolves Are in Big Trouble

The 2021 NBA Draft Lottery has come and gone, and the Detroit Pistons will select first overall in next month’s draft. I just released Mock Draft 2.0, so be sure to check that out. Our guy Garrett put out his SimBull winners and losers from the Draft Lottery, which is a really great post with one glaring omission: The Minnesota Timberwolves were massive losers on Draft Lottery night. Maybe the biggest losers of any team in the league.

Minnesota finished the 2020-21 NBA season with a 23-49 record. This was the sixth-worst record in the NBA and the third-worst in the Western Conference. Such a poor standing gave the T-wolves a 27.6% chance of landing a top-three selection in the 2021 NBA Draft. Anything outside the top three would confer the first-rounder to the Golden State Warriors as part of the prior Andrew Wiggins trade. Their pick fell to No. 7 overall in the lottery and thus became the Warriors’ pick. That was the only possible draft pick Minnesota would have had in the first round.

The Timberwolves Have Zero First-Round Picks in the Upcoming Draft

Even though the season is over, the Timberwolves are still finding ways to lose. With a 72.4% chance of losing their pick going into the Draft Lottery, they set themselves up for failure long before the draft order was even decided. With zero first-round picks in 2021, Minnesota now has to try and get pieces through free agency, and Minnesota is a tough sell with its freezing climate and small market. It looks like the Timberwolves will run it back with Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, and D’Angelo Russell, but they obviously need more given how poorly they performed this past season. A deep 2021 draft class provided a perfect opportunity for them to add a solid piece, and now they can’t make that happen.

This was not a good draft for the Timberwolves to go and lose a top-10 draft pick. A lot needs to happen to make this team more competitive, even with Anthony Edwards on the roster. Minnesota set themselves back another year by relinquishing their 2021 first-rounder in the Andrew Wiggins deal, and they will not be worth a SimBull investment for a good while. Big yikes.

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