How Warriors' draft outlook impacted by T-Wolves' hot streak

D'Angelo Russell Anthony Edwards

For much of the season, it looked like the Minnesota Timberwolves would finish with the worst record in the NBA.

And that's exactly what the Warriors -- who own Minnesota's 2021 top-three protected selection -- have wanted all along, because if that happened the Warriors would have entered the NBA draft lottery with an 11.97 percent chance of getting the No. 4 overall pick and a 47.86 percent chance of landing the No. 5 overall pick.

But now it is all but certain that the Houston Rockets will finish at the very bottom.

The T-Wolves beat Houston on Tuesday night, have won three straight and are 6-4 in their last 10 games. And when you look at their remaining schedule, it is entirely possible they finish with the league's fifth-worst record.

For the sake of this exercise, let's assume this is what materializes. In that event, these would be the lottery odds:

No. 1 pick: 10.5 percent No. 2 pick: 10.54 percent No. 3 pick: 10.56 percent No. 4 pick: 10.53 percent No. 5 pick: 2.22 percent No. 6 pick: 19.61 percent No. 7 pick: 26.74 percent No. 8 pick: 8.68 percent No. 9 pick: 0.62 percent

When you add up the numbers, the Warriors would have a 68.4 percent chance of having the pick conveyed. And if the ping-pong balls determine that Minnesota keeps it this year, the Warriors then would possess the T-Wolves unprotected first-rounder in 2022.

RELATED: Why Warriors' embarrassing loss to Mavs has silver lining

So yes, the Warriors want to beat Minny on Thursday night for two reasons -- it will help with their playoff positioning AND give them the best chance of having the lottery go in their favor.


Also of note -- The T-Wolves (19-44) are jockeying with the Orlando Magic (18-43) and Detroit Pistons (19-43) at the bottom of the standings, and play at the Magic and Pistons on May 9 and May 11 respectively.

Warriors fans should be very interested in who wins those matchups.

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