The 2015 NBA Draft Lottery could go a long way in determining the future of the Los Angeles Lakers. The end result could give L.A. the No.1 pick and their choice of any player in the draft, but it could also leave the team without a first-round pick at all. Head coach Byron Scott will be the Lakers' representative at the lotter, hoping to bring his squad some good luck.
Los Angeles’ 21-61 record was the fourth-worst in the league, giving them the fourth-best odds of winning the lottery and the top overall pick. But because of a deal they made three years ago, the Lakers will forfeit their pick if it falls outside of the top five.
The Lakers acquired Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade in July 2012. The deal included this year’s first-round selection, which was sent to the Philadelphia 76ers in a trade at this season’s deadline. Los Angeles won’t end up with the No.8 pick or worse, but they have a 16 percent chance of falling to No.6, and a 1.2 percent chance of landing the No.7 selection.
Three teams have a better chance of getting the top pick than L.A., but history shows that plenty of teams that didn’t finish in the bottom three have won the lottery. The Lakers have an 11.9 percent chance of getting the No.1 pick in June’s draft. Their chances of getting the next four picks are 12.6 percent, 13.3 percent, 9.9 percent and 35.1 percent, respectively.
With a combined 37.8 percent chance of getting a top-three selection, Los Angeles has their eyes on a few players. Following their worst two-year stretch in franchise history, the Lakers will likely look to take the best player available, instead of drafting based on need. Only Kobe Bryant has a guaranteed spot in the starting rotation for the 2015-2016 season, and injuries have forced him to miss 75 percent of the last two years.
Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns appears to have leapfrogged Jahlil Okafor as the projected No.1 pick, but the Lakers would be more than happy to land the Duke freshman at No.2 overall. If Los Angeles ends up picking third, point guard Emmanuel Mudiay could be their choice.
The Minnesota Timberwolves finished with the NBA’s worst record at 16-66, and they have a 25 percent chance to get the top pick. They are followed by the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers, who have a combined 35.5 percent chance to win the lottery.
The 2015 NBA Draft Lottery is scheduled for May 19, and the draft itself will take place on June 25.