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2021 NBA Draft Lottery: The Morning After

The offseason for the Minnesota Timberwolves is officially underway.

2021 NBA Draft Lottery Photo by Steve Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images

The offseason for the Minnesota Timberwolves is now officially underway.

The results from the 2021 NBA Lottery are now in, and after months of anticipation, here’s how everything broke down:

  1. Detroit Pistons
  2. Houston Rockets
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers
  4. Toronto Raptors
  5. Orlando Magic
  6. Oklahoma City Thunder
  7. Golden State Warriors (via Minnesota Timberwolves)
  8. Orlando Magic (via Chicago Bulls)
  9. Sacramento Kings
  10. New Orleans Pelicans
  11. Charlotte Hornets
  12. San Antonio Spurs
  13. Indiana Pacers
  14. Golden State Warriors

The Timberwolves entered the night with the 6th worst regular season record in the NBA, which meant they had the 6th best chance at landing the top overall pick (for the second straight year). As you can see by the draft order above, the Wolves once again failed to move up in the NBA Lottery, instead dropping down from #6 to #7, which ultimately resulted in them conveying their first round pick this year to Golden State.

So... now what? For starters, the results of last night’s lottery brings much-needed closure to the D’Angelo Russell for Andrew Wiggins swap, a trade that originally was announced back in February of 2020. With the Wolves officially conveying this year’s pick to Golden State, the deal now breaks down (basically) to Wiggins and the #7 pick for Russell.

Is that good? Bad? Somewhere in-between? In my opinion, knowing what we know now (and still a little hungover from last night’s festivities), the blockbuster trade with Golden State is far easier to stomach now that we know it’s not a top-five pick going to The Bay Area. Would it be nice to have another young player headed to Minnesota this summer? Absolutely, but in the mind of Gersson Rosas and his front office, this was the cost of doing business, and with the lottery dust now settled, the Wolves can officially move forward as they attempt to (finally) elevate themselves from the cellars of the Western Conference.

A couple additional thoughts on the 2021 NBA Lottery:

  • Speaking of the Western Conference — four out of the five top picks in the 2021 NBA Draft now belong to the East, which is a pretty solid consolation prize for any franchise trying to move up the power rankings of the West.
  • In addition to Minnesota, the Chicago Bulls also lost their first-round pick this year as part of the Nikola Vucevic trade with the Orlando Magic. I don’t know about you, but the NBA really botched the way they announced these pick swaps last night, choosing to simply open up the envelop of the team that would receive the pick (i.e. Warriors at #7 and Magic at #8) rather than flipping over the team that originally owned that pick and then explaining the transaction. How confusing was this process? Well, check out this video from the Bulls’ live lottery coverage, which may have resulted in the best video from the night:
  • Finally, if you’re a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, last night was a pretty brutal experience. OKC entered the night with a chance to secure two top-five picks (if the Rockets would have fallen out of the top four, their pick would have gone to the Thunder). Instead, Oklahoma City fell two spots to #6 and saw Houston keep the #2 overall pick, which altogether is a pretty disappointing result for those fans.

With the NBA Lottery now completed, we (Wolves fans) now turn our attention to the NBA Draft, which is scheduled for Thursday, July 29th. While Minnesota might not possess a pick in either the first or second round as of today, the likelihood of them trying to move somewhere into the draft via a trade seems fairly high (especially in the second round).

Last but certainly not least — a huge thank you goes out to everyone who stopped by Forgotten Star Brewing last night for the live lottery party. While the results of the lottery itself were a bummer, seeing 400+ people pack into a brewery wearing a variety of vintage Wolves apparel was one of the coolest moments of my life.

Again, thank you all for the support both last night and on a daily basis here at the site. Let’s all grab some coffee, take a shower, mix in an Advil or two and start focusing on yet another extremely important offseason.