March 31, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson (25) controls the ball against the defense of Los Angeles Clippers power forward Kenyon Martin (2) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Thanks to Al Jefferson, the Minnesota Timberwolves will be getting the Utah Jazz's first round pick they acquired in the Al Jefferson trade.
Following Tuesday night's 100-88 win over the Phoenix Suns, the Utah Jazz officially punched their ticket to the NBA postseason. However, the Jazz weren't the only team celebrating with the news of the playoff berth.
For the Minnesota Timberwolves, the win meant that the Jazz would now be sending the Timberwolves their first-round draft selection, which as of Tuesday night would be the 17th overall selection (depending on how the final standings play out, the pick could range any where from 15-20).
In an ironic twist of fate, the Timberwolves have former big man, Al Jefferson to thank for their newly acquired draft pick. After being named the Western Conference's Player of the Week last week, Jefferson scored 15-points and pulled down 16-boards on Tuesday against the Suns, powering the Jazz to the win.
Jefferson was traded by the T-Wolves in 2010 in exchange for two future first-round selections. Thanks to Jefferson's effort to push the Jazz into the playoffs, Minnesota will now get one of those picks back.
Prior to Tuesday night, the T-Wolves did not have a pick in the first round this year because they're losing that pick to the New Orleans Hornets via a 2005 trade with the Los Angeles Clippers (Los Angeles included it in the trade package for Chris Paul).
Now Minnesota is back in the first round.