Timberwolves win lottery for top draft pick

Tue May 19, 2015 10:17pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Minnesota Timberwolves won the National Basketball Association's draft lottery on Tuesday, giving them the first selection in the NBA draft for the first time.

The Timberwolves had a 25 percent chance -- the best odds among the 14 non-playoff teams in the draw -- at winning the weighted lottery after finishing with the worst record in the 2014-15 regular season.

For the first time since 2004, the team in best position actually claimed the top pick, giving Minnesota reason to rejoice after their lowly 16-66 mark in the regular season.

"We just want a young man with a great heart and a great mind," said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who attended the lottery at a midtown Manhattan hotel ballroom.

Centers Karl-Anthony Towns from the University of Kentucky and Jahlil Okafor from Duke are widely considered the prizes of the draft to be held on June 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Other highly touted candidates include point guards D'Angelo Russell (Ohio State) and Emmanuel Mudiay, who played professionally this year in China, and Latvian power forward Kristaps Porzingis, who played in Spain's professional league.

One surprise shook up the selection order as the Los Angeles Lakers leapfrogged from the presumed fourth pick to the second spot, changing places with the New York Knicks.

"I just know right now there's a lot of happy people in Los Angeles," said Lakers coach Byron Scott.   Continued...

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Zach LaVine (8) celebrates with point guard Lorenzo Brown (7) and small forward Andrew Wiggins (22) during overtime against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.  Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports