Newspaper article International New York Times

Top 3 Choices Seem Set, but Then It Gets Murky

Newspaper article International New York Times

Top 3 Choices Seem Set, but Then It Gets Murky

Article excerpt

With the order now set for the June 25 N.B.A. draft, speculation can begin about which players will end up on which teams.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have the market cornered on No.1 picks.

In an unusual circumstance, the player selected first in this year's N.B.A. draft will probably join the first player selected in each of the last two drafts -- Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins -- on the Timberwolves, who won the right to the top pick in the draft lottery on Tuesday. Bennett and Wiggins were acquired in a trade for Kevin Love, but the Timberwolves helped secure this year's pick the old-fashioned way: by having the league's worst record.

With the order set, speculation can begin about which players will end up where when the draft is held in New York on June 25.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves Whether the Timberwolves use the pick on Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky or Jahlil Okafor of Duke, or surprise everyone by selecting someone else, the player taken will have interesting role models in Bennett and Wiggins. Those two represent very different ways in which a No. 1 pick's career can start. Wiggins, 20, just finished a rookie-of-the-year season. Bennett, 22, is discussed as a draft bust; his first two seasons have resulted in overall averages of 4.7 points and 3.4 rebounds a game.

2. Los Angeles Lakers After Minnesota's selection, the Lakers will presumably choose whichever franchise big man is left and pair him with Julius Randle, the No.7 pick last year, who missed most of this season with a broken leg. The Lakers would have a flawed roster, with no true point guard and an aging, and expensive, Kobe Bryant still lurking. But the chance to have full seasons from Randle and either Towns or Okafor would seemingly right the ship for one of the league's marquee franchises.

The Lakers have not had a pick this high since 1982, when they used the No. …

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