On the clock: Timberwolves land No. 1 pick

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The Minnesota Timberwolves won the NBA draft lottery on Thursday, securing the No. 1 pick in October’s draft.» data-reactid=»16″>The Minnesota Timberwolves won the NBA draft lottery on Thursday, securing the No. 1 pick in October’s draft.

2020 NBA draft lottery results

Here is the complete order of the lottery picks that were revealed Thursday evening.

1: Minnesota Timberwolves

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="2: Golden State Warriors» data-reactid=»24″>2: Golden State Warriors

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="3: Charlotte Hornets» data-reactid=»25″>3: Charlotte Hornets

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="4: Chicago Bulls» data-reactid=»26″>4: Chicago Bulls

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="5: Cleveland Cavaliers» data-reactid=»27″>5: Cleveland Cavaliers

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="6: Atlanta Hawks» data-reactid=»28″>6: Atlanta Hawks

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="7: Detroit Pistons» data-reactid=»29″>7: Detroit Pistons

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="8: New York Knicks» data-reactid=»30″>8: New York Knicks

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="9: Washington Wizards» data-reactid=»31″>9: Washington Wizards

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="10: Phoenix Suns» data-reactid=»32″>10: Phoenix Suns

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="11: San Antonio Spurs» data-reactid=»33″>11: San Antonio Spurs

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="12: Sacramento Kings» data-reactid=»34″>12: Sacramento Kings

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="13: New Orleans Pelicans» data-reactid=»35″>13: New Orleans Pelicans

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="14: Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies)» data-reactid=»36″>14: Boston Celtics (via Memphis Grizzlies)

Knicks, Cavs fall

The Hornets and Bulls both moved into the top four, bumping the Knicks and Cavaliers down from their pre-lottery slots. The Cavaliers were slotted second and tied for the best odds to win the No. 1 pick and will pick fifth. The Knicks had the sixth-best odds and will pick eighth.

The Hornets won the No. 3 pick after entering the lottery with the eighth-best odds, while the Bulls moved up from the No. 7 slot to the No. 4 pick. Minnesota was slotted third and had the best odds alongside the Warriors and Cavaliers to win the No. 1 pick.

Who will go No. 1?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Unlike last year’s draft with Zion Williamson as the undisputed top prize, there is no clear-cut No. 1 pick in 2020.» data-reactid=»41″>Unlike last year’s draft with Zion Williamson as the undisputed top prize, there is no clear-cut No. 1 pick in 2020.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="LaMelo Ball is a top candidate, but Georgia guard/forward Anthony Edwards, Memphis center James Wiseman and Dayton forward Obi Toppin could all figure into the equation. The Timberwolves already have a starting point guard in D’Angelo Russell and an All-NBA center in Karl-Anthony Towns. Will they overlook Ball and Wiseman to add Edwards or Toppin on the wing?» data-reactid=»42″>LaMelo Ball is a top candidate, but Georgia guard/forward Anthony Edwards, Memphis center James Wiseman and Dayton forward Obi Toppin could all figure into the equation. The Timberwolves already have a starting point guard in D’Angelo Russell and an All-NBA center in Karl-Anthony Towns. Will they overlook Ball and Wiseman to add Edwards or Toppin on the wing?

Will LaMelo Ball go No. 1? (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)Will LaMelo Ball go No. 1? (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Where will LaMelo Ball land? (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Is LaMelo Ball the best prospect?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Ball may be the best prospect in the draft. The brother of New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball, LaMelo is slightly taller and more athletic than his brother and a better scorer than the elder Ball who was selected No. 2 overall in the 2017 NBA draft. LaMelo did not play in college, opting instead to play overseas in preparation for his NBA future.» data-reactid=»55″>Ball may be the best prospect in the draft. The brother of New Orleans Pelicans point guard Lonzo Ball, LaMelo is slightly taller and more athletic than his brother and a better scorer than the elder Ball who was selected No. 2 overall in the 2017 NBA draft. LaMelo did not play in college, opting instead to play overseas in preparation for his NBA future.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="He exceeded expectations competing against professionals last year in Australia’s National Basketball League at 18 years old. A 6-7 point guard with high-level handles and the ability to score from anywhere over halfcourt, Ball had a chance to be the first name called.» data-reactid=»56″>He exceeded expectations competing against professionals last year in Australia’s National Basketball League at 18 years old. A 6-7 point guard with high-level handles and the ability to score from anywhere over halfcourt, Ball had a chance to be the first name called.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But with the top two teams in the draft having established point guards, Ball could fall. Or the Warriors may look to trade out of the No. 2 spot for an established player as they look to return to contention with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson rejoining the lineup after missing time with injuries.» data-reactid=»57″>But with the top two teams in the draft having established point guards, Ball could fall. Or the Warriors may look to trade out of the No. 2 spot for an established player as they look to return to contention with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson rejoining the lineup after missing time with injuries.

COVID-19 pushes back draft

The draft that’s normally held in June was pushed to October because of the COVID-19 crisis. The Oct. 16 date falls three days after the latest possible NBA Finals game in the Disney World bubble.

The 2020-21 season is tentatively slated to start on Dec. 1. But like most things scheduled in the COVID-19 era, that date sounds increasingly unlikely. Commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN prior to Thursday’s lottery that the league is leaning toward pushing the start date back with hopes of playing games in front of fans.

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