Between the Adreian Payne trade of 2015 and the Ricky Rubio deal of 2017, the Minnesota Timberwolves found themselves down just a single spot in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Back in 2015 the Minnesota Timberwolves traded a lottery-protected first round pick in 2017 to Atlanta for the rights of Payne. With the Timberwolves in the lottery last year, the trade then rolled into 2018. Payne would go on to start 24 games and appear in a total of 99 games for the Timberwolves before being setback due to having complications with low platelet counts in his blood. He was released and signed with Orlando for a short time in 2017-18.

The Hawks were the happiest team on the final night of the NBA regular season when the Timberwolves punched their ticket to the NBA Playoffs. That automatically gave the Hawks the rights to Minnesota's first round pick.

The NBA Draft order was finalized on Tuesday night (May 15) following the NBA Draft Lottery. Atlanta secured the 19th pick from Minnesota, but the Timberwolves didn't lose much ground. That's where Rubio comes in.

Prior to the start of the current season, Utah and Minnesota agreed on a trade that would send Rubio to Utah for a lottery-protected first round pick (that was acquired in a prior deal between Utah/Oklahoma City). With the Jazz making the playoffs, the pick was given to Minnesota. That pick? The 20th overall and just one spot below where their pick would have been.

Minnesota will select at pick 20 of the first round and at pick 48 of the second round. The NBA Draft is scheduled to take place on June 21st.


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