Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 5/21/13
If the Minnesota Timberwolves are to reverse their fortunes from a year ago, they'll have to do it on their own. For the 15th time in as many NBA Draft Lottery appearances, the Timberwolves saw a chance at moving up in the order pass them by. They'll pick ninth overall on Thursday, June, 27 -- the same spot their 31-51 had them slotted before Tuesday's lottery in New York. Their odds of selecting any higher were minute to begin with. Minnesota, which remained in place for the seventh time, had a 6.11-percent chance to land a top-three pick and only a 1.7-percent chance at No. 1. That slot went to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time in three years, followed by Orlando and Washington. Things could've been worse for the Timberwolves, who had an outside chance to fall as far as the 12th pick. They've dropped at least one spot on eight separate occasions since the Draft Lottery's inception. In order to try and avoid that scenario again, team representative Kevin Love carried a Ricky Rubio action figure on his person during the proceedings at DisneyABC's Time Square Studios. The good-luck charm didn't help achieve the highly improbable but did ensure Minnesota stayed in the same draft spot as the No. 9 on Rubio's jersey. Squashed are the pipe dreams of drafting popular top pick Nerlens Noel out of Kentucky or electric Kansas guard Ben McLemore to fill the Timberwolves' outside shooting needs. Lehigh's guard C.J. McCollum and Georgia's Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, both projected as off-guards at the professional level, headline a list of more viable options with the ninth pick. It's likely that Indiana guard Victor Oladipo, whom team president Flip Saunders has spoken very highly of recently, will still be around when Minnesota makes its first selection. The Timberwolves also have the 26th pick, originally the Memphis Grizzlies' but acquired from Houston on June 24, 2011. Minnesota possesses two second-round picks, too: the 52nd and 59th overall.
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