NBA Draft Lottery 2011: Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves have the best chance of winning the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft Lottery on account of being the worst team in the NBA last season. The Wolves have a 25 percent chance at the top pick, and are also favored for the No. 2 or No. 3 slots should No. 1 slip through their grasp.

TEAM NEEDS

Besides a do-over on the past five years? Point guard is the most pressing need; Luke Ridnour is an average point guard at best, and he's aging, which isn't helping his injury avoidance. Sebastian Telfair is ... well, Sebastian Telfair. Jonny Flynn has been a disappointment and while he could still make a career of it, he's too overmatched to give the Wolves a consistent chance to win.

Ricky Rubio is the looming spectre at that position; but Minnesota should know before the draft whether the Spaniard is coming over. (It's doubtful.)

Center is also a gaping void, with Darko Milicic the 2010-11 starter. (Enough said.) The Wolves have one of the league's best young power forwards in Kevin Love, and three wings who are somewhere between intriguing and good (Michael Beasley, Martell Webster, 2010 pick Wesley Johnson).

IF THEY WIN

The Wolves almost have to pick up Kyrie Irving if they win the No. 1 pick; the position is too important to rely on another bet on Flynn or Rubio. I suspect they'd be tickled with a chance to pick up Derrick Williams, Enes Kanter or Jonas Valanciunas at No. 2 or No. 3, though if Kemba Walker rises his ready-to-play perception could make him an option in those spots.

PREVIOUS LUCK

The Wolves have had terrible lottery luck in recent years. The Wolves had the league's second-worst record last year, but fell to No. 4 as the Wizards and 76ers leapt them. Minnesota tied the Grizzlies for the fifth-worst record in 2009; Memphis leapt up to No. 2 while the Wolves picked No. 6. Minnesota's only top-three pick ever was Christian Laettner in 1992.

For more on the Wolves in the lead-up to the draft, visit Canis Hoopus and SB Nation Minnesota.

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