A Minnesota May typically brings three sporting highlights: fishing season, preliminary Twins hype and a Timberwolves swing and miss in the NBA Draft lottery. With anglers being met with cold and the Twins in rebuilding mode, the Wolves lived up to their end of the bargain in Tuesday’s draft lottery by failing to move up for the 15th consecutive time.
Statistical probabilities aside, this streak symbolizes the ‘God have pity on us’ mantle that has surrounded the Wolves since their inception in 1989- when they started off on the wrong foot by drafting a guy named ‘Pooh’.
Of those 15 appearances, the team has lost a total of 13 slots in draft position. Sadly, this is probably most interesting storyline surrounding the franchise’s 25 years of existence.
Using that benchmark, the Wolves maintaining their number nine slot in this 2013 lottery has to be considered a moral victory.
Since the NBA is a superstar-driven league with top heavy drafts, jumping into or being dropped from the top spots can have a lasting effect on a franchise.
To illustrate this, think back to 1992 when the lottery gods decided to award Christian Laettner to the Wolves over Shaq and Alonzo Mourning. How would the Wolves have looked with either one of those players at the helm during the 1990s?
Indeed, this misfortune is a major reason why the team has been below average for so long. While still in their infancy, the Wolves were bumped in five out of six lotteries from 1990-95- losing nine total draft slots and missing out on star players such as Chris Webber, Grant Hill and Penny Hardaway.
After being bailed out by Kevin Garnett in 1995, the misery resumed once he was traded away- though in recent years this can be attributed too just bad drafting.
This isn’t throwing a bone to people who cry conspiracy, but the lottery is simply bad policy and should be discarded. Sure, its original purpose was to deter teams from losing. But the Wolves have been losing consistently for 25 years now, so maybe it’s time to try something new.