Predicting Doomsday: Wolves Lottery Preview


Each and every May, well after the Wolves’ first month of summer break is complete, buzz about the annual NBA draft lottery begins. It is a day to celebrate ineptitude, poor performance, and general lack of accountability. It is a day mired in disappointment, but filled with (ALWAYS for naught) hope. And every single year the Wolves come up short. In fact, in all of the Wolves’ years in the lottery, the team has not moved up a single time. Not once. Year after year, we either stand pat in our position, or get pushed back by whichever team owner’s daughter developed a mid-Spring fellatiatic relationship with Commissioner Stern.

While we have stood pat numerous times, the weeks surrounding the lotto are often a days filled with frustration, ridiculous trade scenarios only rivaling Knick/Raptor-fan level of insanity, and 12 months of frustrations all boiled down to a single big bang event resulting in the lids being blown off of the fifteen remaining (up 7 versus a year ago!) Target Center faithful. The lottery is not a good day. And no matter how many times one tries to convince themselves otherwise, it is an isolated statistical event every year. It is not predicated on last year’s lottery.”We must win this year!! It’s our turn!!” need not apply. The only certainly in the lottery from team-Wolf is death and any form of luck flushing into the Minneapolis water system with the rest of the Spring runoff that makes water taste like dead fish. And while each lottery is a separate statistical event, let it be known that only a single time in the last 20 years (Orlando – Dwight Howard…and Cleveland for LeBron but they were tied) has the last place team won the lottery. Speaking of which, let’s cut the team-loathing metaphors and talk about the damn thing.

Before we begin, let’s briefly go ahead and discuss the draft lottery for those who, heaven forbid, do not understand how it works and perhaps have hobbies.To put it plainly, it is very similar to the Powerball. Each team is sorted by level of retardation from worst (the Wolves) to least worst of the non-playoff teams. Based on record, the team with the worst regular-season record has the best chance to ‘win’ the lottery based on the outcome of the Powerball-like lottery. The Wolves have a 25% chance to win, while all other teams have a smaller chance. The picks are drawn based on a number combination, and the team with the highest % to win (again – the Wolves) has the highest # of winning combinations. 

Here are how the % odds work out for the Wolves:

1st – 25%

2nd – 21.5%  

3rd –  17.8%

4th/Hiroshima come late – 35.7%

Statistics can be a funny thing (if you are, indeed, amused by statistics). Our odds, from a single pick standpoint, are most skewed towards 4th overall (absolutely bound to happen, sorry). However, our odds of getting 1-3 are 64.3%. More basic addition fun yields these percentage breakdowns: Odds of the Wolves picking in the top 2 = 46.5%. Odds of picking 2-4 = 75%.  3-4 = 53.5%. And most shockingly, the odds of picking 1-4= 100% (to the nitpicking-reader-type who just sprouted a mild erection at the opportunity to call me out here: I obviously know the Wolves can’t pick any worse than 4. It was an attempt at cynical, sarcastic humor. Thank you, now go away).

You see, the lottery is only for the top three picks overall. The rest are simply settled by reverse record. This is what makes watching the lottery coverage perhaps a more dramatic television experience than MacGyver and the Lost Treasure of Atlantis. For when the picks are revealed, it is done so in reverse order, meaning you know immediately whether a team has moved into the top 3 and appropriately completed its annual tradition of shoving a baseball bat deep into the back-end of the Wolves braintrust. You will actually see the life drain out of Kahn’s face in real time.  Tomorrow.

Speaking of Kahn, in a move to further our luck, the Wolves have decided to send him as our representative. I can’t decide whether I want the Wolves to win the #1 pick for a chance at Kyrie Irving, or to hear how Kahn handles the Rubio questions if we were to win. Either way, is there a way this situation will end in anything but disappointment? I hate to keep being Negative Nancy, but if the Wolves win we have to decide between Irving/Rubio and potentially trade the 1st pick overall. Or  does Kahn do the inexplicable and pass on Irving (bad feeling here)? If we get 2nd, Derrick Williams is a bad fit. If we get 3rd or 4th, if you believe Kahnzone are taking anything other than Kanter or Vesely you are kidding yourself. Trade out you say? What will teams give up with CBA uncertainly and the weakest draft in ten years? Not to mention this is our last opportunity to upgrade through the draft, as the Clippers will have our top selection next season. 

As I have said before this is either going to be a very good, or very bad month for the Wolves.

Rather than hashing out any more conditional hypoethicals (what if the Wolves get 1 or 2? What if we get 4? Would we do this trade or sign this guy? What sort of false hope can we generate that Glen will spend any money to bring anyone here? Blah blah blah my head hurts)…I’m going to wait until tomorrow night to make any form of  what-if lotto comment. For now it’s about sitting and crossing the fingers and hoping we can get lucky.

In the meantime, I’ll have a mushroom cloud photo queued up to hit this page at about 7:45pm tomorrow.

Be sure to check back later this week when the TWB staff breaks down their top 10 and discusses the lotto results.


About wallyworld

Mike has been writing for TWB as a hobby since the Kahn era, and currently resides in a Dallas suburb where he can often be heard loudly arguing with his neighbors about his strong dislike for JJ Barea. When not working, Mike enjoys playing the drums and pretending to like other sports.