FLORIDA—As the first round of the NBA playoffs are taking place in the “bubble” at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fl, the 2020 NBA draft lottery was also taking place.
The Minnesota Timberwolves, who ended the season with the league’s third-worst record (19-45), won the right to the first pick in the draft, which will be held on October 16th at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY.
The ‘Wolves will be followed by the Golden State Warriors, who had the NBA’s worst record at 15-50, and then the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls picking next.
“There’s a lot of steps left in this journey for us, but today was a significant one,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas. “We’re excited about the potential level of player that we can add to our organization, but at the same time, we are going to be very aggressive and look at every avenue to improve this team. We have two young stars in Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell that we’re building this together. We’ve got a great young core that’s young and being one of the youngest, if not the youngest, team in the NBA. We have a lot of upside, but this allows us to take a major step in talent acquisition, whether it’s in the draft or the trade market, whatever the case may be. It really positions us well moving forward.”
Interestingly, the Timberwolves and Warriors engaged in a blockbuster swap at this year’s trade deadline, which sent Russell from Golden State to Minnesota in exchange for Andrew Wiggins and a topthree first-round pick in next year’s draft.
As Minnesota builds a quality team around young stars Towns and Russell, who are only in their mid20s, Golden State is in an entirely different predicament. Before this season, the Warriors made the NBA Finals for five straight seasons and won three of those, before injuries wiped out the roster this past year. Star point guard Steph Curry missed most of the season because of a hand injury, and nine-year NBA veteran Klay Thompson sat out the entire season because of a tear to his ACL.
“I know there’s a lot of narrative around us trading and what we’re going to do with it (the pick), but we don’t really know anything at this point,” said Golden State President of Basketball Operations Bob Myers. “I have no idea what the value is of that pick, how much people covet it, and I don’t think I’ll know that anytime soon,” he went on to say.
Myers said that Warriors’ veterans Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green will have a say on what the team does with the selection.
“Those guys, I feel like they’ve earned a right to say whatever they want,” he added. “And I’ve also earned the right to listen and do what we think is right too. It’s a mutual respect. They’ve always been cooperative and thoughtful, and whether it’s a minimum player, we ask their opinion, sometimes on trades we ask their opinion. When guys win three championships for you, I think they deserve that.”