After finishing the season with the third-worst record in the league, the Minnesota Timberwolves have won the 2020 NBA draft lottery, earning the right of having the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Following the Timberwolves will be the Golden State Warriors with the No. 2 pick and the Charlotte Hornets with the third pick in the draft.
The Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers round out the top five picks.
Minnesota star D’Angelo Russell, who was traded to the Timberwolves just before the February trade deadline, said the opportunity to receive the number one pick was really exciting.
“Wow. Super exciting,” Russell said in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.
“I trust [general manager] Gersson [Rosas] and [coach] Ryan [Saunders] and all those guys making Minnesota a home for guys coming up, and even All-Star guys coming in.
“The bar is set now, and we’re excited to get it going.”
The draft was held virtually with the COVID-19 pandemic still a strong presence, where a representative from lottery hopeful teams sat and learned their teams lottery fate.
Stephen Curry spoke to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols during an interview before the lottery took place, saying the Warriors had a strange season but is looking forward to what the future holds.
“It’s weird,” Curry told Nichols.
“You showed that clip of the journey we’ve been on the past five or six years… We want every experience in the league, so now we are in the lottery trying to get a high draft pick.
“We’ll see what happens, but it gives perspective on what team we’re going to have next year with the guys coming back off injury, Klay, what Draymond’s been through this last year, myself coming off the hand… So, we’re obviously confident and know what we’re capable of and we’ll see how it all shakes out.”
Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, Memphis’ James Wiseman and brother of New Orleans Pelicans star Lonzo Ball, Lamelo Ball, are labelled as the consensus top three picks in the upcoming draft.
Ball said the opportunity to play professionally in Australia made him a better basketball player.
“I think it made me a better basketball player that I am today,” Ball said.
“I really started taking stuff serious and just saw the world differently.”
Edwards said the experience of playing in college helped him mature and learn how to deal with bad games.
“I feel like it prepared me because I learned how to deal with bad games,” Edwards said.
“I had a lot of bad games, so it taught me how to take them on the chin and move on to the next.”
The NBA Draft will take place on October 16th.
Full list of draft lottery results:
2. Golden State
8. New York
11. San Antonio
13. New Orleans
14. Boston (via Memphis)