Regardless, there’s no doubt the Timberwolves will take the major victory anyway, as landing the No. 1 pick gives the franchise a ton of flexibility, be it to acquire their next franchise cornerstone to fit alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell or to trade down for multiple assets. What’s interesting is that even with the huge win in this year’s draft lottery, the Wolves still hold the honor of statistically being the unluckiest team in lottery history. That’s how bad their luck had been before this year.
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With Minnesota moving up for the first time, that leaves just the Dallas Mavericks, the Detroit Pistons, the Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat as the only teams who have never moved up from their pre-lottery position. On the other side of the spectrum, the three luckiest teams in lottery history are the Philadelphia 76ers, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Charlotte Hornets, who have moved up eight times and three times apiece respectively.
They consider Lacob unusually lucky, for various reasons. He told them, semi-facetiously, something to the effect of: “I don’t do lotteries. I do championships.” When ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne asked Lacob about that cheeky line, he chuckled. “This is gonna be like the ‘light years’ thing,” Lacob said. “I did say that. But when you’re in last place, you shouldn’t really have much to say.” Stephen Curry was the next and obvious choice. He had one request, Golden State higher-ups said: Ask Klay first. Thompson apparently passed.
Rod Beard: #Pistons GM Troy Weaver on trading first-round picks this year: “Teams will definitely look to explore those options. Just the climate of the NBA and what’s ahead of us, there could be teams looking to get off those picks because of the financial constraints.”
Wes Goldberg: Speaking on a Zoom call, Warriors GM Bob Myers said “Steph Curry delivered as usual… it was going to be 1 through 5 but 2 is about as good as it gets.”
Anthony Slater: Bob Myers on Warriors getting #2 pick: “Do we like somebody there? We don’t entirely control the draft, but all we have to like is two guys to be happy. So that makes it simpler.”
Christopher Hine: Rosas: “They talk about this as being similar to past drafts, the Anthony Bennett draft for example, but to be fair the reigning MVP was a part of the draft. We have to do our job.”
KC Johnson: Speaking on a Zoom call, Bulls EVP Arturas Karnisovas said “how happy we are to move up, to break recent tradition. We know that moving up from 7 to 4 is a huge deal for our organization and city of Chicago. We’re going to select a player who’s going to help us next year.”
Sarah K. Spencer: Travis Schlenk on the Hawks falling to sixth: “We ended up right where we were supposed to… losing would have been seventh or eighth.” Mentions that was percentage-wise the most likely scenario
Rod Beard: #Pistons Troy Weaver: “We’ll continue to do our work for the draft, combing over every prospect and every scenario…I always felt like this draft was 14 or 15 deep. You could get the same-quality player between 3 and 13.”
“We couldn’t be more pleased to land the first overall pick in this year’s draft, marking only the second time in franchise history,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas. “We are excited for the possibilities ahead of us to bring in a high caliber player now that we secured the first overall selection. As a front office, we are proud of what we’ve built here in Minnesota so far and we are looking forward to continuing to build upon that foundation in this year’s draft.”
Gersson Rosas: “We know with the number one pick we have the opportunity to draft an impact player who could immediately complement our young, strong core in All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns and All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell. The front office and I are prepared to get right to work with this new component for the draft and we’re confident we will be able to bring energy and excitement to our fanbase with our next moves.”
“I’m glad I could represent for the state of Minnesota at the draft lottery the same way we plan to show out for our fans when we get back on the court,” said Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell. “The number one pick is exciting to have, it makes me think back to when Karl and I got drafted 1,2 in the 2015 draft. There’s so much buzz and energy during the draft as a player and I really look forward to seeing what Gersson and the front office will do to build upon our 2020-21 roster with this pick. I know we’re ready to compete and I can’t wait to see who joins us next.”
Jon Krawczynski: For the first time ever, the Wolves move up in the lottery. Amazing
Jeff Goodman: 2020 NBA Draft Order: 1. Minnesota 2. Golden State 3. Charlotte 4. Chicago 5. Cleveland 6. Atlanta 7. Detroit 8. New York 9. Washington 10. Phoenix 11. San Antonio 12. Sacramento 13. New Orleans 14. Boston
KC Johnson: This is the first time the Bulls have jumped up from their pre-draft lottery position since . . . 2008. That’s when they moved from No. 9 to No. 1 for Derrick Rose.
RJ Marquez: The #Spurs will have the No. 11 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. San Antonio did not move up or down based on pre-lottery predictions. It’s still the highest they have selected, assuming they keep the pick, since Tim Duncan was drafted in 1997.
Brian Robb: The Celtics will have the No. 14 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. That gives them three first-round picks in 2020 (No. 14, No. 26, No. 30), the most of any team.
For Thursday’s NBA Draft lottery, “Lucky Leon” Rose will wear a replica of a special bracelet that a young Knicks fan/high school player gave to RJ Barrett before Rose’s first game as Knicks president on March 2. Barrett went on to score his career high 27 points and the Knicks beat the Rockets in Rose’s presidential debut.
Eric Woodyard: Cavaliers Legend Brad Daugherty will represent the Cleveland Cavaliers in Thursday’s 2020 NBA Draft Lottery.
Rod Beard: #Pistons new general manager Troy Weaver will represent the team in the virtual NBA Draft Lottery on Thursday.
The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell will represent the team at the virtual 2020 NBA Draft Lottery presented by State Farm, to be held on Thursday, August 20. The event will be televised on ESPN beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT.
“I’m honored to represent the Timberwolves at this year’s draft lottery,” said Russell. “We are excited about what we are building in Minnesota and look forward to continuing the progress with the lottery and in the draft.”
Zach Lowe: Teams are making final calls on who will represent them on the “virtual dais” for this Thursday’s lottery. For Minnesota, sources tell ESPN: D’Angelo Russell. The Warriors have already revealed Stephen Curry will be their virtual rep.
Ben Rohrbach: The NBA announced the lottery and draft order after today’s tiebreaking coin flips. Lottery is on Thursday. Draft is on Oct. 16.
Chicago Bulls: Arturas Karnisovas will represent us at the virtual NBA Draft Lottery on Aug. 20.
The draft lottery, which was recently moved up from Aug. 25 to Aug. 20, will feature representatives from all 14 lottery teams who will appear on virtual displays.
According to a league source, the Warriors have yet to decide on a representative, but they’ve been encouraged by the NBA to send a well-known player.
Shams Charania: The NBA plans to hold the Aug. 20 Draft Lottery virtually, with 14 team representatives appearing via virtual display, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Now that the Wizards have lost their first two games at Disney World, that rule is coming back into the forefront. The Wizards are currently tied in the loss column with the Hornets, who aren’t in Orlando but are locked in with the eighth-best lottery odds. What that means is if the Wizards continue to lose, they can’t gain more ping-pong balls for lottery night, which is set for Aug. 25. And now there is a distinct possibility they could have worse odds than a team with a better win percentage than them.
It would be a cruel twist for the Wizards, who need as much help as they can get in this year’s draft as they hope to find another blue chip prospect to add to their burgeoning young core. Making that pick count is especially important given their salary cap situation with John Wall and Bradley Beal on the books, which has left them with fewer resources to work with. They could get another key rotation player on a rookie contract. The good news is that the lottery rules were changed more permanently before last year’s drawing in order to create more parity in the annual event. It smoothed out the odds to discourage tanking and the results in its first year were as-intended.
Jeremy Woo: As I understand it, there’s a level of hope that the NBA will still be able to hold the draft combine. Would take place at some point after the Aug. 25 lottery, may not happen until September. Conducting player medicals and measurements would (predictably) be the key components.
Kellan Olson: The NBA’s official release on the 22-team format notes that the NBA Draft Lottery standings will be based off the standings prior to play in Orlando. The 14 teams will be those who do not make the playoffs. So, the Suns will be in the 10th spot unless they make the playoffs.
Adrian Wojnarowski: NBA has set an August 25 Draft Lottery and October 15 Draft, sources say.
Marc J. Spears: Via new rules, the NBA teams with the three worst 2019-2020 regular-season records will each have a 14 percent chance of winning the lottery. Golden State, Cleveland and Minnesota have the three worst records with Atlanta, Detroit and New York behind by a hair in the standings.
Brad Turner: NBA just announced it has postponed 2020 NBA draft lottery and NBA combined due to coronavirus. Both were scheduled to be held in Chicago later this month.
Marc Berman: The NBA announces no combine, which we knew, and postponement of Draft Lottery. Both in Chicago. Draft still on June 25th for now. NBA “continues to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic and consult with infectious disease specialists, public health experts and government”
Shams Charania: The NBA has indefinitely postponed its NBA Draft Lottery and Draft Combine in May in Chicago due to coronavirus pandemic, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
I’ve asked a handful of sources about this. They continue to provide the same answer: The league has plenty to figure out and the answers aren’t easy. Each time there seems to be a workable solution, another problem emerges. But it seems like the usual off-season events — draft, free agency, summer league — have been pushed down the priority list. The primary focus centers on a return-to-play strategy — if possible. Once that decision is made, there should be more clarity on other issues.
An NBA official said no final decisions have been made on the lottery or combine. If the regular season is canceled, the Knicks would hold the sixth-best odds in the lottery at 21-45. That gives them a nine percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick and a 27.5 percent chance of a top-three pick. There’s also a scenario of falling to No. 10.
Connor Letourneau: Steve Kerr on the Pelicans getting the No. 1 pick: “It should make for an interesting summer.”
Ben Golliver: Pelicans’ Alvin Gentry on their thought process with the number one pick: “Well, we’re going to see…. Yeah, right.” Said of New Orleans delegation’s Tuesday night celebration plans: “They’re going to get a big receipt.”
Steve Popper: This is the entirety of the Knicks comments on the lottery: Statement from Steve Mills and Scott Perry: “We are excited to have the third pick and are confident we will be able to add a great player to our talented young core and the team that we are building.”
Patrick Ewing, who represented the Knicks on the dais in Chicago, thinks the fans should be happy with who team president Steve Mills and GM Scott Perry decide to choose come June 20. “Be happy with what we have,” he said after the Lottery. “Cherish him, help him, support him, support the team and hopefully good things will come.”
Ben Golliver: Grizzlies’ Zachary Kleiman, wearing an engraved Cartier watch given to him by his mother for luck, said he was “thrilled” to land second pick to add another core piece next to Jaren Jackson Jr. “We’ve got a lot of work to do,” citing his new regime & coaching search.
Tania Ganguli: When he was standing there with representatives from the Grizzlies, Pelicans and Knicks, did Kyle Kuzma think the Lakers would get the No. 1 pick? “Nah. The league don’t like the Lakers. They weren’t gonna give us that.”
KC Johnson: John Paxson: ““I stay committed, along with my staff, to get this right. We’re going to add another good player in this draft. We’re going to spend money in free agency where we add some vets who help. Get over the disappointment quickly because you have a lot of work to do.”
Marc J. Spears: Zion Williamson was QUICKLY whisked out of the room after Pelicans were announced the winner of the draft lottery. Source said the former Duke star was rooting to go to New York, but now is going to New Orleans.
Ben Golliver: Before drawing, Alvin Gentry wrote on a sheet of paper, “This is our moment.” David Griffin had predicted victory & gave him lucky Zegna tie from Cleveland. Gentry’s reaction to win: “F— yeah!” Later said of Griffin’s luck: “That’s worth the hire. Ms. B knows what she’s doing.”
Mike McGraw: Paxson, while laughing: “My mind immediately went to the fact that 3 of the top 4 (picks) are going out West, and New York didn’t get No. 1, so that’s something in our favor.”
Will Guillory: Griffin won’t talk about who he will select with the No. 1 pick, but he did say it should help with potentially recutting Anthony Davis: “Elite talent likes to play with elite talent”
Candace Buckner: New Orleans GM David Griffin: “The universe never makes mistakes.”
Andrew Greif: Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry is absolutely gliding around the draft lottery ballroom, slapping hands and smiling ear to ear.
KC Johnson: John Paxson: “I’m always confident we’ll find talent in any draft.”
Jaren Jackson Jr.: 👀👀🙏🏾🙏🏾🗣🗣
Kevin O’Connor: Alvin Gentry yelled “fuck yeah” when the Pelicans won the no. 1 pick during the lottery drawing. Then he stood up and stuck his arms out like “are you not entertained?” Then he said sorry. No reason to apologize: Zion Williamson will be with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Adam Zagoria: The Pelicans win the Zion Sweepstakes. Here’s the draft order:
Jim Eichenhofer: David Griffin on #Pelicans desire to add draftees who value their new city: “Being a family matters in New Orleans… Being mindful of our fan base, our community, is really important. I think we’re blessed in this draft – there are some very good human beings in this draft.”
Jim Eichenhofer: David Griffin to @NBATV on what tonight’s lottery means for #Pelicans: “We have an opportunity to build something that’s long-term sustainable and meaningful. Tonight is about one of the next building blocks … we’re going to be able to add another strong pillar to our group.”
Chris Vivlamore: Jami Gertz: “I believe whoever we get will bring greatness to Atlanta. We are bringing greatness to Atlanta. That’s just how I feel. I don’t know when but I know it will happen.”
MSG Networks Inc. shares climbed 2.1%, outperforming the broader market’s rebound, as investors look ahead to the NBA draft lottery Tuesday evening, where the future of the New York Knicks may be at stake. The stock has fallen 5% this year and investors hope that the Knicks landing the top pick in the draft will turn performance around for the company, which owns broadcasting rights to the team.
BTIG analyst Brandon Ross wrote on Monday that trades and player moves this summer could have a “significant impact” on the Knicks as well as Madison Square Garden Co. and MSG Networks. “The situation is much more pressing for MSG Networks, which is fighting strong industry headwinds with a weak product carrying a high price tag,” Ross said in a note to clients. “If the Knicks can transform into a winner, ratings should follow, and MSGN’s affiliate negotiations should become easier and advertising revenue could increase substantially.”
Bobby Marks: New York will not only have an eye toward securing a top 3 pick but also what happens with Dallas. If the Mavericks are not in the top 5, New York will receive a 2021 unprotected and 2023 (top 10 protected) first. Both picks are a result of the Kristaps Porzingis trade.
See, the lottery’s format back then was different than it is today. There were 11 non-playoff teams in ‘93. And the rules didn’t derive from any complicated algorithms, handing the three organizations with the league’s worst records 14 percent odds each, then slightly worse percentages down the line, as they do today. “(Today’s system) is impossible to explain to anybody but an MIT mathematician,” Williams joked. “I have sat in the back room now for four or five years. And I see it unfold and have no idea what’s going on.”
Williams likes to think former NBA commissioner David Stern changed the rules in his mind before he’d even shook hands with the Magic exec after winning a second consecutive season. “I had to bite my lip after we won because nobody in that room was happy for us. Nobody,” Williams remembered. “You watch the video; you’ll see shock but no dancing. I tiptoed up to the stage, but David Stern was not happy to see me. He was not happy. (He was) like, ‘How did this happen to my lottery? This is not why we put it in there.’”
Knicks GM Scott Perry says the team is prepared for any and all possibilities heading into the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night. “Whatever is in the cards for us (Tuesday), we’ll be more than able and willing to handle that and execute the draft position that we have,” Perry said Monday in an interview on ESPN Radio’s Golic & Wingo Show.
The Knicks, Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns each have a 14 percent chance of landing the top pick on Tuesday night. All three clubs also have a 40 percent chance of landing a top-three pick and a 52 percent chance of landing a top-four pick. The Knicks will pick no lower than fifth since they finished with the league’s worst record (17-65). Perry on Monday said, no matter where the Knicks land, their meetings with individual draft prospects will play a key role in whom they decide to select.
“So much of it will get down to when we get a chance to meet these young players and really get a feel for their personalities,” Perry said on Monday. “Because we’ve been able to evaluate their talent from afar on the floor, we’ve been able to talk to a number of sources about them, but now, that final touch really comes down to your personal interaction with each of these players.”
Darren Wolfson: While Gersson Rosas will represent the #Twolves on TV tomorrow night for the Lottery, it’ll be VP of communications Brad Ruiter in the room when the actual drawing takes place. He’s 1-for-2, you could say, having been in the room when the No. 1 pick (KAT) combination came up.
What separates Cynthia Marshall from others who have represented the Mavericks in 14 previous lotteries is her gusto and conviction for the occasion. “Yes,” she told The News when asked if she is aware of the franchise’s bleak history of rotten lottery outcomes. “That’s changing.”
If Dallas draws one of this year’s top four picks, next year’s No. 1 pick would be conveyed to Atlanta. “I said, ‘That’s the whole story of my life, beating the odds, are you kidding me? I’m not worried about that,'” Marshall said, recalling her conversation with the NBA official. “If your Lord says it is time for us to have that No. 1 pick, then it’s time for us to have the No. 1 pick.”
Question: How nervous are you for the teams, and do you sense the drama in that room? Kiki VanDeWeghe: Absolutely. The interesting thing is everybody is in the same spot. It’s an interesting dynamic. The other teams are competitors with each other. But they are all in this room sequestered together — all really nervous and excited at the same time. It’s an interesting atmosphere. It’s very cordial because everyone is in this together. The cell phones are put away, there’s no way to communicate with anybody. We’re a group amongst ourselves. We know a little bit ahead of everyone else what the results are.
Q: What is it like knowing the blockbuster news before the rest of the world? Kiki VanDeWeghe: The minutes are really long. I can tell you that. Once you find out what the results are — it’s so important to what it means to a franchise — that they’re dying for everyone else to know. In some respects, the teams want to make sure, hey, we didn’t get the top pick, we did get the top pick. All those things you’re dying to communicate. It’s a very long half-hour.
Q: Does the Zion Williamson prize make it bigger? Kiki VanDeWeghe: I think it’s dramatic every year. From my position, I don’t want to comment on an individual player as you know. What can I say is, it’s an exciting time. We have some of the great playoffs series of the second round and now add on top of it the lottery and combine. This is sort of the entry point layered on top of the most exciting part of our season. I love this time of year. I can’t wait to see what happens.
Q: How do you feel the lottery reform worked in changing the odds for the worst three teams? Vandeweghe: If you look at us over the years, ever since the lottery was instituted, we’ve adjusted them five times. The idea of having the three teams with the least wins, they have 14 percent [chance of winning the first pick] — the odds smoothing out a bit. I think it is good. It’s a fair way to do it. Is it perfect? There probably is no perfect [way]. It’s a work in progress. That’s one of the great things working here we‘re always trying to improve things. That comes from the top with Adam [Silver, NBA commissioner]. Always trying to innovate and make sure, even though this is a fantastic year and the playoffs are great and we’re seeing some of the best talent we’ve ever had on the basketball court. How can we make it better?
Ex-Knick Kiki VanDeWeghe is the NBA’s executive VP who is in his sixth season moderating the behind-the-scenes actual ping-pong-ball lottery drawing and has an interesting viewpoint of how the NBA draft lottery works. He gives his thought about the process, the anticipation and the changes ahead of the drawing Tuesday to determine the order for the June 20 draft — when Duke star Zion Williamson is expected to be the No. 1 pick. Question: How nervous are you for the teams, and do you sense the drama in that room? Vandeweghe: Absolutely. The interesting thing is everybody is in the same spot. It’s an interesting dynamic. The other teams are competitors with each other. But they are all in this room sequestered together — all really nervous and excited at the same time. It’s an interesting atmosphere. It’s very cordial because everyone is in this together. The cell phones are put away, there’s no way to communicate with anybody. We’re a group amongst ourselves. We know a little bit ahead of everyone else what the results are.
Duane Rankin: 8-year-old Gabriel Olvera is about to get the surprise of his life. Meeting Deandre Ayton. Getting a jersey. Shooting hoops with the 7-footer. Being invited to next week’s #NBA Draft lottery.
Keith Pompey: Here are the team representatives who will be on stage and in the drawing room for the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday in Chicago. The #Sixers, yes the Sixers, will have representatives at the lottery. That’s because they’ll get the first pick if the Kings win the lottery. pic.twitter.com/iCi2tJTkBV
Mike Trudell: The Lakers are sending @Kyle Kuzma to Chicago to represent the squad for the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, May 14. LAL (37-45 in 2018-19) have the 11th-best odds, giving them a 9.4% chance at a top 4 pick, and a 2.0% long shot at No. 1.
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September 30, 2020 | 7:51 pm EDT Update
Rod Beard: I’m told that LaMelo Ball will not do predraft workouts for teams, but will interview with team representatives. Ball is projected to be a top-3 pick in the NBA draft. @jeremywoo was first to report.
Mirjam Swanson: Frank Vogel says 85 days in the bubble — “a remarkable setup” — “has not been harder than I thought it would be … I miss my family dearly, but I really enjoy the group of guys we have. It’s been all basketball — which is just fine with me.” Says winning helps, too.
September 30, 2020 | 6:44 pm EDT Update
Josh Lewenberg: For what it’s worth, multiple Raptors and league sources say they cannot confirm the Marc Gasol-to-Spain report. I think that’s where this is headed, eventually, but we probably jumped the gun on it. Technically, he’s still under contract with Toronto until the off-season begins
Eric Koreen: FYI, there is nothing imminent on this front. Seems very likely someone got very, very ahead of himself and tweeted it. Could never happen to me. Anyway, Gasol’s status remains unchanged, and he will be a free agent after season’s end.
Former Clippers coach Doc Rivers has touched down in Philadelphia, arriving in the city on Wednesday afternoon at 4:20 p.m. (see video above). A source tells me that he’ll be interviewing for the Sixers’ head coaching job tonight.