Timberwolves and Lakers are big Draft Lottery winners

May 20, 2015

For the first time since 2004 the team with the worst record in the NBA actually got the No. 1 pick as the Minnesota Timberwolves made franchise history by winning the top overall selection in the 2015 NBA Draft. Previously, Minnesota had never selected higher than second.

The first pick in the NBA Draft has produced a number of basketball legends over the years, including 11 players on the NBA's 50 Greatest Players list (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Patrick Ewing, Elvin Hayes, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Bill Walton and James Worthy). More recently, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, John Wall, Kyrie Irving and Anthony Davis all entered the league as No. 1 picks.

The other major development was that the Lakers were fortunate enough to be the only team this year to draft higher than their regular season record. The Lakers had the fourth worst record this past season, but will select at No. 2. This came at the expense of the Knicks, who unluckily slipped to the No. 4 spot despite having the league's second worst record.

Both Minnesota and Los Angeles had plenty of reasons to be ecstatic about the turn of events, not the least reason being that this year's Draft features two standout big men who are currently the consensus top two picks: Duke's Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns. The order they will be (or should be) selected is increasingly a topic of vibrant debate in the basketball world.

"This is a great day for our franchise and our fans. We're excited about the opportunity to have the top pick in the draft for the first time in franchise history," said Flip Saunders, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. "The No. 1 pick is a fantastic asset to have as we look to add more talent to our team."

Current Timberwolves teammates Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett were also selected No. 1 overall in 2014 and 2013, respectively. If Minnesota doesn't trade their No. 1 pick for this upcoming draft, they will be the first NBA team ever to have the last three top selections on their squad.

Along with the first overall pick, the Wolves also hold two second round picks, 31st (first pick in the second round) and 36th (Sacramento's selection, acquired from Houston on Dec. 19, 2014 via the Troy Daniels and Corey Brewer trade).

But sheer logic suggests that a trade of any of those picks, including the No. 1, is not out of the question if the right offer comes along. After all, the T-Wolves have ample young talent that they are already developing.

For the Lakers, Tuesday's news was double good fortune. The prospect of selecting second and acquiring a stellar big man - whoever might fall into their laps - was uplifting enough. But the once vaunted but now struggling franchise also heaved a deep sigh of relief when their number came up. If LA had fallen out of the Top 5, their pick would have gone to Philadelphia. Now the Sixers (who will select 3rd in this year's Draft), will have to wait until next year to obtain the Lakers first rounder (a top-3 protected).

Along with the second overall pick, the Lakers have the 27th (first round) and 34th (second round).

The 2015 NBA Draft will be held on Thursday, June 25, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and broadcast on ESPN.

Following is the complete order of the first two rounds of the 2015 NBA Draft.

1. Minnesota
2. L.A. Lakers
3. Philadelphia
4. New York
5. Orlando
6. Sacramento
7. Denver
8. Detroit
9. Charlotte
14.Oklahoma City
15.Atlanta (From Brooklyn)
18.Houston (From New Orleans)
26.San Antonio
27.L.A. Lakers (From Houston)
28.Boston (From L.A. Clippers)
29.Brooklyn (From Atlanta)
30.Golden State


32.Houston (From New York)
33.Boston (From Philadelphia via Miami)
34.L.A. Lakers
35.Philadelphia (From Orlando)
36.Minnesota (From Sacramento via Houston)
37.Philadelphia (From Denver via Houston, Portland and Minnesota)
47.Philadelphia (From New Orleans via Washington and L.A. Clippers)
48.Oklahoma City
50.Atlanta (From Toronto)
51.Orlando (From Chicago)
53.Cleveland (From Portland via Chicago and Denver)
54.Utah (From Cleveland)
55.San Antonio
56.New Orleans (From Memphis)
57.Denver (From L.A. Clippers)
58.Philadelphia (From Houston)
60.Philadelphia (From Golden State via Indiana)

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com

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