Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said Tuesday was an exciting and "very emotional day" for his team.

Minnesota, which had an NBA-worst 16-66 record this season and was guaranteed a selection no lower than fourth in June's draft, won the top pick in Tuesday night's NBA Draft Lottery. 

MORE: Lottery recap | Wiggins declares T'Wolves 'uprising' | What to do with Rubio?

The T-Wolves haven't had much luck with the lottery in their history, and Saunders is happy luck finally went their way.

"We were happy getting the fourth pick, we knew we're going to get a good player, but every time you move up a spot, you have more flexibility and more opportunities," Saunders said during a Tuesday night conference call. "The No. 1 pick gives us an opportunity to really evaluate everybody and see what direction we want to go. At this point, we're open and we've really studied these players — the top five or six players really well. We have a pretty good handle on them. We'll bring these guys in, work them out and do some individual mental tests and pick the best player for us."

The NBA Draft will be held June 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Although Kentucky's Karl Anthony-Towns and Duke's Jahlil Okafor are considered the top two players in the draft, Saunders wouldn't tip his hand about who the team is considering with the top pick. 

"It's not really a two-player race," said Saunders, who coached the Timberwolves from 1995-2005 before rejoining the club last year as coach and president of basketball operations. "There's a lot of guys who intrigue me and who we've looked at. Those are two guys who are definitely on everybody's boards and they should be. I think both those players are going to be All-Star-type players.

"But when we look at anybody in the draft, it's how they fit in with the players we have, what their dynamic is and how we want to play.

While he didn't express any preference between Anthony-Towns and Okafor, Saunders did give a brief look into what Minnesota might be looking for in their No. 1 pick. 

"Both those guys have the ability to score and both those guys are great kids," he added about the Kentucky and Duke products. "I've known about those kids for a couple of years. I know they're both great kids, as are the other kids who are talked about in the top five or six, whether it be (D'Angelo) Russell, whether it be (Emmanuel) Mudiay, whether it be (Kristaps) Porzingis, whether it be (Willie) Cauley-Stein. We're going to be very open-minded and we'll do our research, both internally when we bring them in here and we'll do our research out into their respective communities – where they grew up, where they went to college and where they played overseas."

Minnesota has never before held the top pick. The Timberwolves selected second overall in 2011 and drafted former Arizona forward Derrick Williams. His best season was in 2012 when he averaged 12 points per game, but Minnesota traded him to Sacramento in 2013. 

The Timberwolves could be poised for a strong bounce-back year following a season in which they were decimated by injuries, as Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic combined to miss 154 games. The Timberwolves also have last year's top pick Andrew Wiggins, who was named the NBA Rookie of the Year. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told ESPN holding onto the top pick is "very important" to supplement the team's young talent led by Wiggins, guard Zach LaVine and center Gorgui Dieng.

"With the injuries we had, we changed our focus and became a development team this past year," Saunders said. "We knew we were going to have an opportunity to add another very good player."

Saunders said he also expects Kevin Garnett back to help mentor the young roster. The 19-year veteran celebrated his 39th birthday on Tuesday. He's spent 12 years with the Timberwolves, who made him the fifth overall selection in the 1995 draft, and rejoined the club last year following a trade with the Nets. 

"Whoever we take, he's going to be able to help that player," Saunders said. "I have a pretty good relationship with K.G. We talked for awhile (Tuesday). I called to wish him a happy birthday. We've got an open relationship and when we traded for him, the idea was that he was going to be here, not for the short-term, but we were going to try to sign him. He's a free agent and he can do pretty much what he wants, but I think he feels pretty comfortable with our situation and he's going to be even more excited now with another great, young talent coming in.

"Wiggins had a phenomenal last six weeks of the season, as did LaVine, and I don't think it was an accident that it corresponds with Garnett coming in. He was able to give, just his knowledge and we're hoping he's going to be a part of what we're doing."

The Timberwolves acquired the top pick in the 2013 draft, Anthony Bennett, last year, meaning Minnesota should have the past three No. 1 overall picks on their roster.

"We feel with Wiggins and LaVine, we can be an up-tempo team," said Saunders, who added that the top pick gives the franchise a jolt and he doesn't foresee the team trading the selection. 

"We were coming here to build a championship team and we want home run hitters and not singles and doubles," Saunders said. "What I meant by that is you want to have the talented guys, potentially All-Star players. There are a lot of these

 guys who can be that. Because of the youth of our team, we're not going to mortgage our future to facilitate that development, because right now, Wiggins is that development and LaVine is that, with (Shabazz) Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng."

Pretty soon, Saunders and the Timberwolves will have another budding star to add to an already-exciting young roster.