What: NBA Draft Lottery
When: 7:30 Central on ESPN
Where: ABC Times Square Studios, which raises the question: if you can do something in Secaucus, why would you move?
The Wolves have a 1.7% of being stuck with the first pick that nobody really wants, and a roughly 6% chance of moving into the top three (and probably being forced to pay even more for someone unlikely to help them anytime soon). By far the most likely result has the Wolves with the ninth selection in the draft. Actually, the third pick has some appeal; go Kevin Love! Finish third!
Yes, as we all now know, Flip Saunders has recruited Kevin Love to represent the Wolves at the lottery, after which the two men will no doubt hit the town. This is being hailed in some quarters as evidence of a thaw in the relationship between the organization and the team's best player; I'll withhold judgment until I see the roster Flip puts together this summer.
Lottery Night has featured so prominently in Timberwolves history, let's take this opportunity to stroll down memory lane and remember some of the outstanding moments in franchise lore, shall we?
The first inkling we had about how much the lottery was going to mean to us was in:
1992. The Wolves finished with the worst record in the league (15-67)! They lucked into the 3rd pick in the draft, missing out on such dubious players as Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning, but coming away with the universally loved Christian Laettner from Duke.
Let's take a look at some of his finest moments as a Wolf:
1993 was also a big lottery year for our Wolves. They had the 2nd worst record in the league, but didn't get one of those pesky top three picks that would have allowed them to draft Chris Webber or Penny Hardaway; no, they wound up with the fifth pick and superstar J.R. Rider. J.R. might have struggled to actually, you know, help win games, but he did win a dunk contest!
Ah, then there was 1994. Slightly more subtle. The Wolves tied for the 2nd worst record in the league with the Bucks and Pistons. They graciously allowed those two teams and the basement dwelling Mavericks to pick ahead of them. With Grant Hill and Jason Kidd off the board, the Wolves chose Donyell Marshall, who they kept around for all of half a season.
In 1995, they again tied for the 2nd worst record in the league, but wound up drafting 5th. They settled for a skinny high-schooler named Kevin Garnett, who they did keep around a while, but they were so desperate for the first pick in that draft that they brought in Joe Smith years later, and managed to avoid three years of first round draft picks as a result of their astute dealings with the former Maryland star.
More recent examples you say? OK, let's go to the Rambis years.
2010. 2nd worst record in the league, 4th in the lottery. Wes Johnson goes on to smile his way into our hearts.
2011: Worst record in the league. Wolves cede the first pick to a Cavaliers team that had lost LeBron James to free agency the year before; after all, fair is fair. Instead of Kyrie Irving, the Wolves draft by far the best player without a position, Derrick Williams.
The 2011 lottery also brought us one of the finest, most memorable moments of David Kahn's tenure as Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations:
Our league has a habit indeed.
So tonight's the night. What do you want to happen? Do you want the first pick in this draft? Will more Timberwolves history be made somewhere other than on a basketball court? Tune in to find out!
Let's finish up with a couple of appropriate musical numbers:
Minnesota's own Martin Zellar performing the Gear Daddies "Statue of Jesus"
(Daddy always said everything I touched did turn to shit...)
Social Distortion with the simply titled "Bad Luck"
Discuss the lottery here, and link any appropriate draft lottery songs.