Mar 15, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton talks to his team during Houston Rockets timeout in the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping to hold onto their pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. What are the odds heading into the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery that they do?
The Los Angeles Lakers are in a position they have never been in during their franchise history; they are in a rebuild. The Lakers haven’t qualified for the postseason for four consecutive seasons, the longest drought in franchise history.
With all that losing, the Lakers have stockpiled a lot of young players. They are hoping that they can add yet another one in the 2017 NBA Draft. This season, the Lakers finished 26-56, which was the third-worst record in the NBA.
As a result, the Lakers have a 15.6 percent chance of landing the top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery. The Lakers will be crossing their fingers on Tuesday for the lottery, as they need to stay in the top-three to retain their selection. What are the chances that the Lakers stay in the top-three?
As you can see, the Lakers cannot fall below the sixth pick. But, if they want to keep their pick, they have to remain in the top-three. If the Lakers fall out of the top-three of the draft, their pick will be sent to the Philadelphia 76ers. This trade stipulation goes all the way back to 2012 when the Lakers acquired Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns.
The Lakers traded a first round pick to the Suns as part of the deal, which was sent to the 76ers. The pick was top-five protected in 2015, so the Lakers kept it. It was top-three protected in 2016, and the Lakers landed in the second spot. Will they be lucky for a third consecutive year and keep the pick for 2017? If they are, the 76ers will receive an unprotected pick from the Lakers next year.
The odds are not in the Lakers’ favor this time. They have a 46.9 percent chance of landing in the top-three, and 53.1 percent chance of dropping in the draft. Those less than ideal odds for the Lakers can be attributed to their late season winning streak.
After the NBA Trade Deadline, the Lakers did everything they could to lose games. They traded away their best player in Lou Williams. Veterans Timofey Mozgov, Luol Deng and Nick Young were all shut down eventually. The Lakers were using a lineup that had one player, Corey Brewer, with more than two years of NBA experience.
It was the logical decision for the organization, as the more losses they suffered the better the outlook of their future would be. But, you cannot force players and coaches to throw games. Despite doing everything in their power to lose, the Lakers still won.
In April, Los Angeles reeled off a five-game winning streak. That winning streak very well could cost the Lakers their first round pick in this year’s draft and in 2019 too, since they will have to relay their first-rounder in 2019 to the Orlando Magic if they lose their selection this season.
The Lakers are hoping that the ping pong balls fall in their favor. They already have good backcourt prospects in D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, and they have their eyes set on Lonzo Ball. The only way for the Lakers to have a chance at Ball is to remain in the top-three, and more than likely they’ll have to move up in the lottery too.
If that does not happen, not all will be lost for the Lakers. The Lakers will also be making the 28th selection in the draft. They acquired that pick from the Houston Rockets in the Lou Williams trade.