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AP photo by Mark Humphrey / Georgia star Anthony Edwards, right, drives past Ole Miss guard Breein Tyree in an SEC tournament game on March 11 in Nashville. Edwards is one of the players considered the possible No. 1 pick for this year's NBA draft.

The NBA draft lottery was delayed three months. It was worth the wait for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Timberwolves won the lottery Thursday night, giving them the No. 1 pick. The lottery was conducted virtually because of the pandemic, with NBA officials doing the actual draw in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Golden State holds the No. 2 selection. Charlotte has the No. 3 choice and Chicago will pick fourth, with both teams bucking some odds to move into the upper echelon.

"We know with the No. 1 pick we have the opportunity to draft an impact player who could immediately complement our young, strong core," Timberwolves team president Gersson Rosas said.

Chicago had a 32% chance of moving into the top four spots, Charlotte about a 26% chance. They leapfrogged four teams that had better top-four odds — Cleveland, Atlanta, Detroit and New York.

"I'm pretty sure whoever we get, it's going to be exciting," Charlotte guard Devonte' Graham said.

The draft, originally scheduled for June, is set for Oct. 16. Nobody knows yet when the new draft picks will make their NBA debuts, though, because the start of the 2020-21 season is not yet determined.

The NBA had hoped for a Dec. 1 start to the 2020-21 season, though league commissioner Adam Silver said on the ESPN telecast of the draft lottery that date now "is feeling a little bit early to me."

Without fans at games, a major revenue stream is obviously lost for the league and its teams. There have been talks about starting next season with one or multiple bubbles, similar to the one where the league is playing now at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, but the obvious preference is to have fans returning to games.

"Our No. 1 goal is to get fans back in our arenas," Silver said on the telecast. "My sense is, in working with the players' association, if we could push back even a little longer and increase the likelihood of having fans in arenas, that's what we would be targeting."

The Timberwolves went 19-45 this season, marking the 14th time in 15 years that they failed to make the playoffs and finished with a losing record. And a month ago, Glen Taylor — who has owned the franchise since 1994 — said he "will entertain" offers for the Timberwolves and the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx.

It will be Minnesota's first time holding the No. 1 pick since 2015, when it took center Karl-Anthony Towns out of Kentucky.

Golden State has another asset — either to trade or perhaps keep — now as it look towards next season. The Warriors went from five-time reigning Western Conference champions to an NBA-worst 15-50 this season, having two-time MVP Stephen Curry for only five games largely because of injury and not having Klay Thompson at any point as he recovered from the ACL tear he incurred in the last game of the 2019 NBA Finals.

"I have no idea what the value is of that pick, how much people covet it, and I don't think I'll know that anytime soon," Warriors general manager Bob Myers said. "But usually the No. 2 pick is pretty good. So I think we'll be happy what whatever options, whatever route we take."

Unlike a year ago, when Zion Williamson was clearly going to be the first selection, there is no consensus about the No. 1 pick. Top candidates include Anthony Edwards of the University of Georgia, James Wiseman of the University of Memphis and LaMelo Ball, the 18-year-old brother of New Orleans guard Lonzo Ball.

Edwards, a 6-foot-5 guard, averaged 19.1 points in 32 games for Georgia in his lone college season. Wiseman, a 7-foot-1 center, played in only three games for Memphis and averaged 19.7 points before giving up what had been a lengthy fight with the NCAA over his eligibility. Ball, a 6-foot-7 guard, averaged 17 points in 12 games while playing in Australia's top pro league this past season.

Cleveland got the fifth pick, followed by Atlanta, Detroit, New York, Washington, Phoenix, San Antonio, Sacramento and New Orleans at No. 13.

Memphis, which had 200-1 odds of winning the No. 1 pick and was 97.6% certain of finishing 14th, ended up in exactly that spot — a pick that will now be conveyed to Boston as part of a trade that happened in 2015. It means Boston could have three first-round picks on draft night, barring any moves beforehand.

The rest of the first-round order, starting with the No. 15 pick and going to No. 30, as of now is: Orlando, Portland, Minnesota, Dallas, Brooklyn, Miami, Philadelphia, Denver, Utah, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Boston, New York, the Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto and Boston.

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