LOS ANGELES — The Minnesota Timberwolves snagged the number one pick in the upcoming NBA draft on Thursday, winning the lottery ahead of the Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors, just one season removed from a run of five straight finals appearances that yielded three titles, garnered the second overall selection.
The Warriors finished last in the Western Conference after a season marred not only by the departure of Kevin Durant but by injuries to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
As the teams with the worst three records in the season, Minnesota, Golden State and the Cleveland Cavaliers each had a 14 percent chance of winning the first overall pick.
Cleveland, however, fell to fifth as the Charlotte Hornets, owned by league icon Michael Jordan, rose from eighth in the pre-lottery odds to earn the third overall pick.
The Chicago Bulls will pick fourth followed by the Cavs, Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans and Boston Celtics.
The last time the Timberwolves had the first overall selection, they drafted franchise star Karl-Anthony Towns, taking him instead of another highly touted newcomer Jahlil Okafor.
This season’s potential top picks include guard LaMelo Ball, who most recently played in Australia and whose brother Lonzo plays for the Pelicans, University of Georgia star Anthony Edwards and University of Memphis standout James Wiseman.