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After a horrible 17 win season that set the mark for the franchise’s worst record in their existence, the 3rd straight year they’ve set this mark, which then resulted in the firing of a well-respected Lakers legend as their head coach, Byron Scott, there is a strong possibility that the Lakers will come away with nothing to show for their troubles if the ping pong balls do not fall in their favor today during the NBA Draft Lottery.
The Lakers have a 55.8 percent chance of their numbers coming up in the lottery and getting one of the top 3 slots in the 2016 NBA Draft. What that also means is that the Lakers have a 44.2 percent chance of falling out of the top 3 which every Lakers’ fans know by now means that they’ll lose their pick to the Philadelphia 76ers, a product of the Steve Nash trade with the Phoenix Suns in 2012.
The chances of the Lakers coming away empty equaling essentially a coin flip is a scary proposition for a team that will begin entering the stage where they’ll be without their perennial megastar Kobe Bryant following his retirement and experiencing an exodus of most of their current veterans on the roster with them moving on this off-season meaning they will enter into full-on rebuild mode with a youth movement that is low in supply in terms of talent.
The Lakers have a few young and promising prospects with Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. ,but none that have taken a big step yet to the point that the question mark hovering over their potential has been removed. Adding a top 3 pick to the Lakers would be beyond calculable and crucial to expediting their climb out of the lower rung of the NBA.
The Lakers have nearly a 20 percent or 1 in 5 chance of getting the top overall pick which by most draft analyst predict will be either LSU’s Ben Simmons or Duke’s Brandon Ingram. The Lakers have an 18.8 percent chance at landing the number 2 pick and they would be happy taking either of the player that remains. The player that would likely be taken at 3 is much murkier as most draft analyst have numerous players projected at that position, including Buddy Hield, Jamal Murray, Kris Dunn, Jaylan Brown and euro prospect Dragan Bender.
The only silver lining that can come from the Lakers falling out of the top 3 and losing their pick this year is that it would automatically make their 2017 NBA Draft pick their’s to keep without restrictions. The 2017 draft class is being projected as one of the deepest in terms of high end talent at the top. Some names of players that would be available will be Harry Giles, Josh Jackson, Lonzo Ball, and Jayson Tatum to name a few.
The Lakers have a big off-season coming up where they’ll again look to nab a superstar name like Kevin Durant and try to sell their situation with their new coach, Luke Walton, as their main pitchman, but how attractive they’ll be to free agents all depends on what happens today during the Draft Lottery which will be one of the most important in their franchise’s history.
The NBA Draft Lottery is scheduled to air today (5/17/16) at 5pm Pacific time on ESPN.