The T-Wolves were rolling when Butler was healthy and they could finish much higher than eighth in the West in 2018-19 or 2019-20, making Atlanta’s pick less valuable. (Or, less likely but possible: the T-Wolves miss the playoffs three years in a row and the Hawks never get that first-round pick).
In a recent interview with 92.9 The Game Hawks GM Travis Schlenk recently acknowledged that the Hawks are rooting for the T-Wolves to squeak into the playoffs. (Via @KLChouinard)
Circumstances are helping the Hawks in their quest for better draft picks. Dennis Schroder, their leading scorer, will miss his second straight game with an ankle injury he suffered on Friday at Golden State. Kent Bazemore, the team’s second-leading scorer, is out with a season-ending knee injury.
The Timberwolves are 12-point favorites on the Vegas line. Then again, the Timberwolves suffered a home loss to the Grizzlies (20-54) on Monday, their fourth loss in their past six games. That result helped the Hawks in terms of the draft lottery but hurt them as far as getting Minnesota's pick.
The Hawks need to lose to the Timberwolves tonight for a win-win.