How D-Lo undergoing knee surgery impacts Warriors, NBA draft


The bad news keeps coming the Minnesota Timberwolves' way.

D'Angelo Russell will undergo left knee surgery and is expected to miss four to six weeks, the Wolves announced Tuesday. 

This news certainly impacts the Warriors, who own the rights to Minnesota's 2021 top-three protected first-round pick.

The T-Wolves (7-20) enter Tuesday's matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers at the very bottom of the NBA standings. And they presumably will be worse with D-Lo sidelined.

So if we assume two things -- 1) the losses continue piling up and 2) the T-Wolves finish with the NBA's worst record -- the Warriors would enter the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery with just below a 59.56 percent chance of having that valuable pick conveyed to them this year:

-11.97 percent chance of getting the No. 4 overall pick

-47.86 percent chance of getting the No. 5 overall pick

Keep in mind that the Warriors -- who boasted the worst record in the league last season -- ended up with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 draft, which had a 13.42 percent chance of happening.

If that exact scenario plays out again, the T-Wolves would keep the pick and all eyes will turn to 2022 when the selection is unprotected.

RELATED: Watch the latest episode of Warriors Outsiders

Finally, let's do one more exercise in which we assume Minnesota gets out of the basement and finishes with the fourth-worst record. If that comes to fruition, these are the lottery odds:


-No. 1 pick: 12.5 percent (T-Wolves keep)

-No. 2 pick: 12.23 percent (T-Wolves keep)

-No. 3 pick: 11.89 percent (T-Wolves keep)

-No. 4 pick: 11.46 percent

-No. 5 pick: 7.24 percent

-No. 6 pick: 25.74 percent

-No. 7 pick: 16.74 percent

-No. 8 pick: 2.19 percent

So in this scenario, Golden State would have a 63.38 percent chance of getting the pick in 2021, and it would land anywhere from No. 4 to No. 8.

No matter how you look at it, the Warriors (and all of Dub Nation) will be sweating it out on lottery night and hoping the ping pong balls bounce in their favor.

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