(Photo: David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery will take place today (May 20) at 5pm Pacific time in New York. The event will be aired by ESPN prior to the start of the Miami Heat-Indiana Pacers game 2 in Indianapolis. The direction of an NBA franchise will take a dramatic shift today depending on the outcome of the NBA Draft Lottery. A team wins one of the top 3 spots today and they’ll be guaranteed a shot at one of the 3 highly touted players available in the draft that will take place on June 26th; namely, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid of Kansas and Jabari Parker of Duke. There is quite a bit of intrigue with little known player Dante Exum from Australia as well.
A team gets their hands on one of these players and the outlook for their future automatically turns bright by their acquisition of a franchise player. Those teams whose numbers do not come up and find themselves outside of the top 3, they’re outlook changes very little and their fan base collective spirit is deflated.
The Lakers who currently have just 3 players on guaranteed contracts for next season and uncertainty surrounding the health of their star player, Kobe Bryant, the importance of landing in the top 3 is vitally important.
The Lakers are have a decent shot at landing in the top 3 today, 21.5 percent chance to be exact. However, the Lakers have a better chance at remaining in the 6th slot or falling one spot down to 7th. Here is a look at the odds of the Lakers landing in all possible draft positions:
1st: 6.3 %
2nd: 7.1 %
3rd: 8.1 %
4th: 0 %
5th: 0 %
6th: 43.9 %
7th: 30.5 %
8th: 4.0 %
9th: 0.1 %
Lakers have a little bit of history on their side. A team with the 6th best odds in the lottery or worst has won the top pick in the draft 5 times since 1994. In the last 12 years, 6 teams the held the 6th best odds in the draft lottery has moved into the top 3.
If the Lakers don’t win a spot in the top 3 today it will be a massive blow to their quick rebuilding hopes, but not all hope would be lost. There is still a chance that a star player can be acquired with their 6th pick. You only have to go back 2 years to the 2012 NBA Draft where the Portland Trailblazers selected Damian Lillard with the 6th pick.
A coach, signing free agents and trade talk is all put on hold for the Lakers. The starting point of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise’s return to the elite starts today and their fate lies in the random bounce of little white ping-pong balls. Sad maybe, but reality.