2021 NBA Draft

Anthony Edwards, Hakeem Olajuwon among Draft Lottery team representatives

Minnesota is hoping Anthony Edwards' presence will land them another No. 1 overall pick.

From NBA.com News Services

Anthony Edwards will virtually represent the Minnesota Timberwolves at the 2021 Draft Lottery.

Between timeless legends, new talent, and front office pioneers, the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery tonight (8:30 ET, ESPN) will feature a wide timeline of notable basketball figures representing teams hoping to see their numeric combinations drawn for a top-four pick.

Anthony Edwards will be among those virtually attending the Lottery on behalf of their teams. The No. 1 pick of the 2020 Draft and runner-up for this season’s Kia Rookie of the Year award, Edwards averaged 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals for the Timberwolves.

Minnesota was one of the three teams that had a lottery-high 14% chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 lottery. It will need that luck again this year, as the Wolves’ pick would go to Golden State if it falls outside the top three, a condition included in a trade that saw the Timberwolves swap Andrew Wiggins for D’Angelo Russell in the 2019-20 season. The odds of Minnesota’s pick landing among the top three — and thereby keeping it — are 27.6%.

The Houston Rockets, owners of the league’s worst record, are tied with Detroit and Orlando for the best odds for the No. 1 pick (14%) and landing among the top four. If Houston’s pick slides to fifth — a scenario that has a 47.9% likelihood of happening — it would be conveyed to Oklahoma City as part of the trade that saw the Rockets deal Chris Paul to the Thunder for Russell Westbrook before the 2019-20 season.

To stave off that threat, Houston is invoking the good luck and history of Hakeem Olajuwon, who will represent the franchise at the Lottery. Olajuwon was the No. 1 overall pick in the historic 1984 Draft, as well as the last No. 1 overall pick before the lottery system was introduced. A Hall of Fame center and Rockets franchise icon, Olajuwon led Houston to back-to-back championships in 1994 and 1995.

Another legend set to appear at the Lottery will be basketball icon Swin Cash. A three-time WNBA champion, four-time All-Star, and member of the WNBA Top 20@20, Cash now works as the Vice President of Basketball Operations & Team Development for the New Orleans Pelicans. Cash will be hoping to see the Pelicans’ odds at a top-four pick (20.2%) come through for a franchise that has made the postseason just once since 2016.

The other team representatives include:

• 2021 Hall of Fame inductee Ben Wallace (Detroit)
• NBA forward Miles Bridges (Charlotte)
• General manager Marc Eversley (Chicago)
• General manager Koby Altman (Cleveland)
• President and COO Rick Welts (Golden State)
• Former Pacers executive Nancy Leonard (Indiana)
• G League general manager Nazr Mohammed (Oklahoma City)
• President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman (Orlando)
• General manager Monte McNair (Sacramento)
• Managing partner Peter Holt (San Antonio)
• NBA guard Fred VanVleet (Toronto)

The 2021 Draft will take place on July 29.

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