MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Timberwolves won’t have a top-three pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
The Timberwolves entered Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery with a 27.6 percent chance at a top-three pick, but they fell to the No. 7 spot, and it will go to the Golden State Warriors as part of the Feb. 2020 trade that brought D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota.
The first round pick in the trade was top-three protected, meaning the Wolves had to finish in the top three of the draft lottery to keep the pick. Anthony Edwards, coming off a sensational rookie season with Minnesota, represented the Wolves in the NBA Draft Lottery. Despite finishing second in NBA Rookie of the Year voting, Edwards couldn’t bring them any lottery luck.
The consensus top three picks in this year’s NBA Draft are Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, USC center Evan Mobley and Gonzaga guard and Twin Cities native Jalen Suggs.
The Timberwolves do, however, keep their first round pick for the 2022 NBA Draft. The Wolves could've lost more games down the stretch to improve their draft lottery possibilities, but instead focused on the future and went 7-5 over their final 12 games.
The 2020-21 season was one of change for Minnesota. Ryan Saunders was fired after the Timberwolves got off to a disastrous 7-24 start. Within hours of the move being announced, Gersson Rosas agreed to a deal with Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch to be the next Timberwolves’ head coach.
The Wolves finished 23-49, the sixth-worst record in the NBA and 13th in the Western Conference. Finch finished 16-25 in 41 games. For now, the Timberwolves’ are built around Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards and potentially Malik Beasley.
The team is also working through a potential ownership change, with Glen Taylor in the process of selling the team to former Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez, and former Walmart CEO Marc Lore.
At this point, the Timberwolves don’t have a pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Timberwolves have made one playoff appearance since Kevin Garnett led the franchise to the Western Conference Finals in 2004.