Local NBA fans can be forgiven if the draft lottery slipped their minds Tuesday.
An event that in many years holds the fate of the Timberwolves in its clutches — two years ago the Wolves landed the No. 1 pick they used on Anthony Edwards and last year the big question was whether they would owe Golden State a top-5 pick — was invariably Wolves-free after this year's playoff appearance.
But the local connection in this year's draft is still strong thanks to Minnehaha Academy turned Gonzaga prospect Chet Holmgren. And when Orlando turned a 14% chance at winning the lottery into the luck of gaining the first overall pick, it created a very intriguing possibility.
The Magic took Jalen Suggs, Holmgren's former teammate at Minnehaha Academy who preceded Holmgren as a one-and-done at Gonzaga, No. 5 overall last season. Suggs fought through injuries in his rookie season, appearing in 48 games (45 starts) for the Magic while averaging 11.8 points.
While there is no consensus top pick in this year's class, Holmgren — a 7-footer with a unique combination of rim protection, three-point shooting and ballhandling skills — is one of three prospects considered likeliest for the honor along with Auburn's Jabari Smith and Duke's Paola Banchero.
Minnehaha Academy almost certainly will produce back-to-back top-5 picks, and there is at least a decent chance both players will wind up on the same NBA team.
By the way, while the Wolves didn't have an ping pong balls during Tuesday's drawing they are still very much included in the mock draft world.
CBS Sports has them taking Kentucky guard TyTy Washington with the No. 19 overall pick, which would make a certain amount of sense. Washington can play either guard position and has a lot of upside, making him a good potential fit depending on what happens with D'Angelo Russell long term.