Commentary

T-Wolves, Cavs look to the future

If it gets the No. 1 pick, look for Minnesota to take yet another point guard

Updated: April 15, 2011, 10:16 AM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
ESPN.com IllustrationAlthough it is perceived as a weak draft, the No. 1 pick can still turn around a franchise.

The NBA regular season ended Tuesday night. While most of the attention is rightfully directed toward the 16 teams that made the playoffs, Tuesday night also had implications for the 14 teams heading to the NBA draft lottery.

Final odds for the draft lottery were set as well. You can play at the different scenarios on our Lottery Mock Draft simulator. Here's a quick look at where the 14 lottery teams stand.


25 percent chance of winning lottery

Not much has gone right for the Timberwolves in the David Kahn era, but they did have a small victory of sorts in the last few weeks of the season. The Cavs started winning games, and the Wolves were able to grab the best shot at winning the lottery.

Given that there are only two or three potential stars in this draft (depending on whether Harrison Barnes declares) -- that's huge. The Wolves can finish no lower than fourth, and the odds are strongly in their favor of finishing in the top three. If Minnesota wins the lottery, expect it to take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving. Yes, the Wolves have drafted three point guards in the past two years and signed two others to significant contracts, and if Ricky Rubio does decide to come over this year, the Irving pick could change. But with so much uncertainty, Irving has to be the pick. Look for the Wolves to take North Carolina's Barnes if they slip to second and Arizona's Derrick Williams third.

19.9 percent chance

The Cavs' losing streak continues. After holding on firmly to the worst record in the league for most of the season, Cleveland finished strong and won its last two games. The wins cost it the best chance of winning the lottery.

If the Cavs do win the lottery, Irving is the likely choice. They do have Baron Davis now, but no one believes he's the long-term solution. Barnes would likely be their second choice, followed by Williams.

Chad Ford

Senior Writer, NBA Insider