Saturday, December 20, 2014
Blog Page 6

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After 16 NBA Championships and 31 Western Conference Titles, the Lakers have been one of the most storied and successful franchises in NBA history. From the eras of West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, there have been countless record-breaking performances and memorable games that have added to Lakers glory. Let’s take a look back at some notable moments for the purple and gold, from the week of June 8-14, over their 66-year history.

June 8, 2001

After losing Game 1 of the NBA Finals to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Lakers bounced back with a 98-89 victory in Game 2, behind 31 points from Kobe Bryant and 28 points and 20 rebounds from Shaquille O’Neal. The Lakers wouldn’t lose another game on their way to a second straight NBA championship.

June 9, 1987

Magic Johnson hit a heroic sky hook shot over Boston’s McHale and Parish to give the Lakers a 107-106 victory in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. Johnson led the Lakers with 29 points, while James Worthy added 21 to give Los Angeles a commanding three games to one series lead. In what would be the last Finals match-up between Johnson and Larry Bird, the Lakers won the series and the championship over the Celtics in six games.

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

June 9, 2000

After Kobe Bryant injured his ankle in the second quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the Pacers played the percentages and resorted to fouling Shaquille O’Neal a record 39 times, in hopes that he would miss a substantial number of free throws. The “hack-a-Shaq” attempt failed, as O’Neal converted on 18 of his attempts, including 9 of 16 in the fourth quarter. He finished with 40 points and 24 rebounds, as he put the Lakers on his back and lifted the team to 111-104 victory over Indiana.

June 14, 2000

Kobe Bryant tipped in the deciding bucket with six seconds remaining in Game 4 of the NBA Finals to give the Lakers a 120-118 overtime victory against the Indiana Pacers. Despite fouling out, Shaquille O’Neal led all scorers with 36 points and 21 rebounds. The Lakers eventually won the title over Indiana in six games.

June 14, 2009

Kobe Bryant answered the critics and won his first NBA championship without Shaq, after leading the Lakers to the title in five games against the Orlando Magic. En route to his first Finals MVP award and fourth ring, Bryant scored 30 points in the decisive game.

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Byron Scott
Image: Chris Chambers | Getty Images

The search for the next coach of the Los Angeles Lakers became a little more clearer on Friday as it was reported by LA Times Lakers beat writer Mike Bresnahan that the team will narrow its search to coaches with previous NBA experience:

The Lakers’ decision to go with an experienced NBA coach also officially ends their brief thought of interviewing a college coach. The team was open to many scenarios after Mike D’Antoni resigned in April, including talking to Roy Williams and John Calipari, but a college coach is no longer an option.

As Bresnahan writes, that decision eliminates the idea of the Lakers hiring a college coach, but also takes Derek Fisher out of consideration for the vacancy.

The candidates with experience who have interviewed so far are: Byron Scott, Lionel Hollins, Mike Dunleavy, Alvin Gentry, George Karl, and Kurt Rambis.

With the team looking to play a more half-court system opposed to the up-tempo style that was played under Mike D’Antoni, one has to think that Scott and Hollins are likely choices moving forward in the process.

Bresnahan goes on to say:

The Lakers currently have no interviews scheduled for the early part of next week and there is only a 50-50 chance they hire a coach by the June 26 draft, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The Lakers said from the beginning of the process that there was no rush in selecting a new coach but with free agency beginning on July 1st, having a coach in place would help give the team a sense of direction in the off-season.

It is also safe to assume that any coach would like input on who the Lakers select at #7 in the NBA Draft, if they do in fact plan on keeping the pick.

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Everyone’s favorite point guard Smush Parker is at it again, this time in an interview on ESPN’s show Highly Questionable where he ‘reveals’ that Kobe Bryant did not allow Parker to talk to him during practice.

“He told me one day at practice – I tried to talk to him outside of basketball, about football. And he looked at me in practice and was dead serious and said, ‘You can’t talk to me. You need more accolades under your belt before you come talk to me.”

In the video below (starts at 2:58), Parker goes on to discuss the lack of relationship the two had as well as his thoughts on being considered a ‘bad’ player with the Lakers.

Someone should let Parker know that it has been seven years since he last played with the Lakers.

Let it go.

 

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Despite the success of the Clippers over the past few seasons, there will always be players who value playing for the Lakers.   In this instance, the player is…

Andrew Bynum.

TMZ recently caught up with the former center and when asked if he could play in Los Angeles where he still resides, Bynum responded, “That’d be great, come back home.”

The reporter then asked, “Clippers or Lakes?” (yes the reporter said Lakes), which Bynum without hesitation said the Lakers.

Lastly, when asked if he could return to old form, Bynum responds, “I don’t think so.”

VIDEO: Andrew Bynum Speaks To TMZ

Since last playing for the Lakers in 2012, Bynum has played in 52 games over two years.  He missed the entire 2013 season due to injury after being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Dwight Howard deal.

In 2014, he signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers but was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team and was then released before making his way to the Indiana Pacers where he played in two games before being shut down with yet another injury.

Bynum enjoyed success with the Lakers, averaging 11.5 points and 7.7 rebounds in seven seasons. His best season came in 2011-2012 when he put up 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds, earning him an all-star appearance.

The biggest issue pertaining to Bynum was his ability to stay healthy.  Constant injuries derailed his career and while he played 82 games in 2006-2007, he was never able to play more than 65 games in a full-season.

It does bring up the interesting scenario in which he could return to Los Angeles for cheap.  With the Lakers roster situation being as is, they will look to fill out the roster and while an injury risk, Bynum could be a player the team adds on a very reasonable deal. While his attitude has also been an issue, it should be noted that Kobe Bryant started to trust Bynum more in games and also praised the center’s personality:

“Yea, yea. He’s got kind of this f— it attitude, you know what I mean,” Kobe said. “Which is great, it’s one of the things that makes him a great player. It won’t bother him at all…. Andrew is a big boy, he can handle it better than most.”

Would you like to see Bynum return to the Lakers in 2014-2015?

 

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When Kobe Bryant signed his two-year, $48.5 million extension back in November, the amount left fans and basketball analysts wondering if it were the smartest thing to do financially for a team looking to reload its roster in the coming seasons.

As it turns out, coaches from other sports also had an opinion on the situation as Jurgen Klinsmann, coach of the United States men’s soccer team, told The New York Times Magazine back in December his feelings about how athletes in America are catered to and brought up the five-time NBA Champion and future hall of fame shooting guard.

“This always happens in America,” Klinsmann said in the interview, which was released on Wednesday. “Kobe Bryant, for example — why does he get a two-year contract extension for $50 million? Because of what he is going to do in the next two years for the Lakers? Of course not. Of course not. He gets it because of what he has done before. It makes no sense. Why do you pay for what has already happened?”

The comments from Klinsmann was not meant to bash Kobe but instead was just a recent example used in an attempt to get his point across in the interview.  Five months after the interview, Klinsmann left Landon Donovan, who was considered the face of U.S. men’s soccer, off the World Cup roster which seems to stay consistent with his comments about making decisions based off the player’s past and not the present.

 

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As we get closer to the June 26th NBA Draft, the head coaching search will continue to gain momentum, which has been apparent over the last two weeks with the first round of interviews completed.  

Here are the candidates as of June 3: Byron Scott, Lionel Hollins, Mike Dunleavy, Alvin Gentry, George Karl, and Kurt Rambis.

While the list may be underwhelming to some, it is important to remember that the Lakers will continue to interview new candidates in the coming weeks before giving second interviews to finalists for the job.

On Monday, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne mentioned Larry Brown and Scott Skiles as possible coaches the Lakers were interested in talking to although Brown told Sam Amick of USA Today that he is not interested in the head coaching vacancy and is content at Southern Methodist University where he hopes to win a national championship.

As for former Laker Derek Fisher, Amick also reported that general manager Mitch Kupchak would like to have a conversation with the fan favorite to “gauge his interest and state of mind before deciding whether to interview him in person.”  Fisher is considered the favorite for the New York Knicks head coaching job as Phil Jackson looks to bring him to the Big Apple.

Fisher commented about potentially coaching former teammate Kobe Bryant, “I hadn’t thought about that much. But when you’re brothers, you’re brothers, regardless of what capacity it’s in.”

Moving away from the coaching search, the Lakers do have the 7th pick in the upcoming draft and have plenty of prospects to choose from.  On Wednesday, the team will hold two workouts for the following prospects:

Tyler Ennis (PG), Brendan Lane (PF), Marcus Smart (PG), Nik Stauskas (SG), Noah Vonleh (PF), James Young (SG), Aaron Gordon (PF), Gary Harris (SG), Rodney Hood (SF), Zach LaVine (PG/SG), Doug McDermott (SF), and Elfrid Payton (PG).

There are plenty of questions regarding who the team will draft as it could change the direction of the offseason for the Lakers.  There are sure to be additional workouts leading up to the draft at the end of the month.  Whether any coaching candidates have been asked about which player they would like to draft remains to be seen, but it is sure to have relevance as a coaching decision nears.

 

 

Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images
Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images
Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images

After 16 NBA Championships and 31 Western Conference Titles, the Lakers have been one of the most storied and successful franchises in NBA history. From the eras of West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, there have been countless record-breaking performances and memorable games that have added to Lakers glory. Let’s take a look back at some notable moments for the purple and gold, from the week of June 1-7, over their 66-year history.

June 2, 1985

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar surpassed Jerry West (4,457 points) to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in playoff history after scoring 26 points in a 136-111 rout of the Celtics in Game 3 of the NBA Finals. The Lakers went on to win the series and the title in six games. Abdul-Jabbar finished his career with 5,762 points in the playoffs. Michael Jordan eventually passed Abdul-Jabbar in 1998 for most playoff points in NBA history with 5,987 in his career.

June 3, 1984

Magic Johnson set an NBA Finals record that still stands when he dished out 21 assists in a 137-104 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the championship series. The Lakers eventually fell to the Celtics in seven games.

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

June 4, 1987

The Lakers set a then-Finals record when they shot 61.5% from the field during a 141-122 win over the Celtics in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. In the same game, Michael Cooper also set a then-Finals record by sinking six three-pointers. Currently, both records rank second-best in NBA Finals history.

June 7, 2000

Shaquille O’Neal scored 43 points and collected 19 rebounds in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, in which the Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers 104-87. O’Neal connected for his 43 points on 21 field goals, which was one short of the NBA Finals record of 22, held by both Elgin Baylor and Rick Barry. O’Neal became one of only five players in NBA history (Baylor, Barry, Jerry West, and Michael Jordan) to convert at least 21 field goal attempts in a Finals game.

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Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

As the Kevin Love sweepstakes start to heat up, the Lakers are a team that has been heavily linked to the All-Star power forward for the last few years with many executives reportedly saying that Los Angeles is the likeliest of destination when the smoke clears.

Love is not eligible to become a free agent until 2015, but the latest reports say that Love’s representatives have told the Minnesota Timberwolves that he will not re-sign with the team if he opts out in 2015, speeding up the process of Love’s eventual exit.

That is unfortunately bad news for the Lakers which have limited resources this off-season outside of the #7 pick in the NBA draft and ample cap space.  The only players currently under contract are Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, and Robert Sacre.

The purple and gold will continue to make a push to acquire Love, but they will need to get creative.  While three-team deals are hard to make, that is the best option for the Lakers to get a deal done.

A plausible trade partner could be that of the Detroit Pistons.  Here is the trade idea (please note this would be main part of the deal):

Lakers receive: Kevin Love

Pistons receive: 7th pick in NBA Draft (LA would select player for Detroit in draft)

T’Wolves receive: Greg Monroe (Sign & Trade)

As the Stan Van Gundy era begins in Detroit, a slight rebuild is certainly in the cards.  The question is if the Pistons will bring back Monroe or let him go in the offseason.  If it decides to go with the latter, it could very well look for sign-and-trade offers that will bring back a piece or two.

The Pistons lost its draft pick after falling in the lottery.  The pick was sent to the Charlotte Hornets in the Ben Gordon trade as top-8 protected, so when it dropped to ninth, the pick went back to Charlotte.  Acquiring a lottery pick would be a nice coup for Van Gundy and the Pistons as they move forward.

For the T’Wolves, losing Love will hurt, as you don’t replace a player like him.  With Monroe, you are bringing in a 23-year old power forward that averages 14 points and 9 rebounds in four seasons.

After years of mediocrity and lottery appearances, it is not unreasonable to think that Minnesota hopes to bring a player in which helps the team move forward, instead of draft picks that could take a few seasons to develop.  With players like Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio, and Kevin Martin in place, becoming a playoff team is not too far off.  Adding Monroe to the mix might be the best return in terms of  player quality and impact.

The key to the trade lies with Monroe.  If the Pistons decide against bringing back the 6’11 forward, what will Monroe’s motivations be in free agency? At such a young age, it could very well be going to the team that will give him the most money.  If that is the case, a sign-and-trade deal to the T’Wolves would be the best option.

Finally, for the Lakers, adding Love is essential.  There are plenty of people opposed to the idea of trading this year’s draft pick, but when you can acquire a 25-year-old All-Star, it is a no-brainer.

With Kobe on the books for two more years and not wanting to be part of a rebuild, adding Love would appease Kobe.  The Lakers’ seventh pick could net forwards Aaron Gordon, Julius Randle, or Noah Vonleh; and while they all have nice potential, will they ever average 26 points and 12 rebounds like Love did this past season?  With Love, teams know what they are getting, which cannot be said about draft prospects regardless of how great their scouting reports look.

The Lakers have never been about building for the future, opting for a more ‘win now’ mentality. Trading the lottery pick to acquire Love would only mean the franchise is staying true to form.

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Lionel Hollins
Image: Kevin C. Cox | Getty Images

In case you missed it, the Los Angeles Lakers have been working meticulously in their head coaching search after learning their draft position. As of Last week ,they interviewed two coaches who have previous good history with the team; Mike Dunleavy Sr. and Byron Scott. On Tuesday they are set to interview former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins.

The first candidate the Lakers interviewed was Mike Dunleavy Sr. last Sunday. He has previous history with the team as he was the Lakers head coach for the seasons of 1990 through 1992 (with an overall record, including playoffs, of 124-73), succeeding then coach Pat Riley. In 1991 the Dunleavy led team reached the NBA Finals beating the Portland Trailblazers, but ultimately losing to the Chicago Bulls.

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Dunleavy also knows what is at stake for the Lakers as his most recent coaching position in the league was with the LA Clippers. Due to that, Dunleavy understands the dynamic of being overshadowed by the other LA team and trying to find ways to claim the primer position. The Clippers teams he coached then had very similar seasons to last seasons Lakers team yet it has been four seasons since he coached last.

Scott, who interviewed with the team last Tuesday per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, believes that he is the “perfect guy” for this job.

“I don’t feel I’m a very arrogant guy, but I feel like I am the perfect guy for this job,” Scott told the “Max & Marcellus” show on ESPNLA 710 Radio on Thursday. “I got a great relationship with Kobe. I know the team, know the roster. I watched them all season long and I just think it would be a great fit.”

“Obviously, if I get the job, the first conversation I have is with Kobe [Bryant],” said Scott, who spent last season as an analyst for Time Warner Cable SportsNet, the Lakers’ television partner. “We have to talk about the future of the Los Angeles Lakers. We have to also talk about which type of direction we’ll be taking and also talk about the type of game that he’s going to be playing because he’s going to have to change his game a little bit, and I think he knows that.

“We got to sit down and talk about the minutes and things like that. We just got to come to an agreement. But he knows me. I’m an old-school type guy. I’m an old-school type guy and I want him to understand that and I think he does understand that…But I think the biggest thing is, No. 1, I respect the hell out of Kobe and I think he respects me. That’s the first hurdle we got to get past, and then other things, we’ll be able to solve all those little issues.”

Scott continued the conversation by speaking on what his defensive approach would be with the team. Last season’s Lakers team finished 29th in opponents points per game, they undoubtedly need to strengthen the defensive side of the ball before next season begins. Scott, a valuable player for three Lakers championship teams on the offensive end but better known for his defense, has an idea of what needs to be done to fix the team’s defensive woes.

Byron Scott
Image: Chris Chambers | Getty Images

“That’s what I was taught when I came to the Lakers, that defense wins championships,” said Scott, who was coached by Pat Riley in L.A. “I think Kobe knows that. I think Pau [Gasol] knows that, because they won championships with that formula. And I think that’s the first thing we got to get better at, the defensive part of basketball. Then we got to get better at the rebounding. So, it’s something that we would do on a day-to-day basis. You got to work on that every day, and it has to be a team’s identity and a staple.”

He concluded with discussing how the Lakers don’t need to think that rebuilding will be a three or four year process.  As we all know, the Lakers have a certain allure to them that can fast track any rebuilding phase.

“Obviously there are a lot of holes to fill, but unlike a lot of people who think this is a three-, four-year process, I really don’t think so,” Scott said. “Again, this is one of the best organizations in basketball. Mitch has done a fantastic job, and I think Jim really has a good idea of where they want to go and what direction they want to head in. So I don’t think it’s going to take three or four years. I think it might take a couple of years at the most to get right back where they need to be.”

The last, and most, recent news of on the organization’s coaching search broke yesterday. Yahoo Sports! Adrian Wojnarowaski tweeted that the Lakers will meet with former Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins on Tuesday.

Hollins, an NBA champion with the Trailblazers in 1977, All-Star in 1978, All Defensive First Team in 1978 and Second in 1979, is known league wide for his team’s stifling defense. While head coach of the Grizzlies, Hollins led his teams to franchise high winning percentage, playoff home court advantage for the first time in team history, and a franchise record 56 wins. Hollins could become the best option out of the three candidates as his previous success can translate with the Lakers right away since majority of the team will have played against a former team of his.

Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee

After 16 NBA Championships and 31 Western Conference Titles, the Lakers have been one of the most storied and successful franchises in NBA history. From the eras of West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, there have been countless record-breaking performances and memorable games that have added to Lakers glory. Let’s take a look back at some notable moments for the purple and gold, from the week of May 25-31, over their 66-year history.

May 26, 2002

Robert Horry picked up a loose ball and swished a three-pointer with 0.6 seconds remaining in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals to give the Lakers a 100-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings. Behind Horry’s heroic shot and 27 points from Shaquille O’Neal, Los Angeles rallied back from a 24-point deficit to win the game. The Lakers eventually won the series in seven games over the upstart Kings and advanced to the NBA Finals, where they swept the New Jersey Nets to clinch their third consecutive NBA title.

May 27, 2010

Ron Artest redeemed himself after shooting a needless three-pointer instead of eating the clock when he put back Kobe Bryant’s airball at the buzzer to give the Lakers a 103-101 victory over the Suns in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Behind Artest’s game-winner, as well as 30 points and 11 rebounds from Kobe Bryant, the Lakers took a three games to two series advantage. Los Angeles went on to defeat the Suns in six games and advance to the NBA Finals, where they defeated the Celtics in seven games to capture their second consecutive NBA championship.

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May 28, 1989

The Lakers completed a four-game sweep of the Phoenix Suns with a 122-117 victory in the Western Conference Finals behind 35 points from Byron Scott. This was the third consecutive series sweep for Los Angeles and their 11th straight win in the 1989 playoffs. This would be their last win of the season, however, as the Lakers went on to be swept by the Pistons in the NBA Finals.

May 30, 1985

The Lakers bounced back after a crushing 148-114 loss to Boston in Game 1 of the NBA Finals and defeated the Celtics 109-102 in Game 2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 30 points and collected 17 rebounds in the win. Los Angeles won the series in six games and became the first-ever visiting team to celebrate an NBA title in the Boston Garden.

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Photo: David Dow NBAE/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers secured the #7 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night.

After a train wreck of a season, the Lakers sent “Big Game” James Worthy along with some good luck charm bobble heads. Unfortunately, the luck was not there as the Purple and Gold fell one spot from their projected spot at #6.

The last time the Lakers found themselves in the lottery was 2005, when they acquired a young and raw center from New Jersey: Andrew Bynum.

It is unknown what the Lakers plan on doing with their #7 pick, but the consensus is that they will do all they can to trade the pick to acquire an established star to pair with Kobe Bryant in an attempt to win sooner rather than later.

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After 16 NBA Championships and 31 Western Conference Titles, the Lakers have been one of the most storied and successful franchises in NBA history. From the eras of West, Chamberlain, Kareem, Magic, and Kobe, there have been countless record-breaking performances and memorable games that have added to Lakers glory. Let’s take a look back at some notable moments for the purple and gold, from the week of May 18-24, over their 66-year history.

May 19, 1987

Magic Johnson won the 1986-87 NBA Most Valuable Player award following a campaign in which he averaged 23.9 points per game, while dishing out a league-leading 12.2 assists per game. Johnson became the NBA’s first guard to be named MVP in 23 years.

May 19, 2009

Kobe Bryant scored 40 points to lead the Lakers to a come-from-behind 105-103 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals over the Denver Nuggets. Despite trailing by seven points late in the fourth quarter, Bryant notched six free throws in the final 30 seconds of the game to fuel Los Angeles’ comeback. Pau Gasol added 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Lakers, including two free throws to tie the game at 99.

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images

May 21, 2008

Kobe Bryant hit an eventual game-winning 10-foot jump shot with 23.9 seconds remaining in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against San Antonio to lift the Lakers over the Spurs 89-85. Bryant scored 25 points in the second half, en route to a 27-point performance at the STAPLES Center. He led Los Angeles’ second half comeback, as they rallied from a 20-point deficit to win. The Lakers eventually won the series in five games and advanced to the NBA Finals.

May 23, 1987

The Lakers defeated the Seattle SuperSonics 122-121 in a thrilling Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. The killer tandem of James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 39 and 28 points, respectively. The Lakers went on to sweep the series and advance to the NBA Finals, where they eventually defeated the Boston Celtics in six games.

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Photo: David Dow NBAE/Getty Images

With the NBA draft lottery taking place Tuesday night, Laker Nation is anxiously awaiting the fate of their team and hoping for some good news after a disaster of a season.  For fans, this is a rare occurrence as this will only be the fourth time the team has participated in the lottery since it was implemented in 1985.

Where to watch

ESPN at 5:00 PM PST (before the start of game 2 between Indiana/Miami)

If you cannot get to a television, follow us @LakerNation for the latest updates

How it works

The lottery system is used to determine the top three picks in the draft.   After those three teams are determined, season records will decide the rest of the order.

Odds

After finishing 27-55, the Lakers are slotted at #6 in pre-lottery positioning.  The purple and gold have a 43.9% chance to stay in that position but also hold a 30.4% chance of falling a spot to #7.  Additionally, there is a 3.9% chance it could end up at #8 and a worst-case scenario of falling all the way to #9 which has a 0.1% chance of happening.

On the positive side of things, the Lakers have a 21.5% chance of getting a top three pick.  There is a 6.3% chance to win the lottery and the #1 pick, with a 7.09% chance for the #2 pick and 8.1% chance for #3.

Based on those odds, the Lakers can only end up with picks: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 or 9. Slots 4 & 5 are not a possibility based on how the lottery system works.

“Big Game James” & friends

Hoping for some positive vibes, James Worthy will be the representative for the Lakers Tuesday night in New York City.  Worthy was the Lakers last #1 pick back in 1982, which was before the lottery was implemented a few years later in 1985.

Worthy will not be the only one representing the Lakers as he will reportedly bring along bobble heads of Dr. Jerry Buss, Chick Hearn and Bill Sharman for good luck.

Last draft lottery appearance

After a 43-48 record in 2005, the Lakers found themselves in the lottery.  The team was slotted to pick #10 in the pre-draft rankings, which is exactly where it landed after the lottery was completed.

The pick was used on high school center Andrew Bynum, who became the youngest player to be drafted to the NBA at 17 years of age.

Before that, the Lakers last lottery pick was back in 1994 when it selected Eddie Jones with the #10 pick.

History brings optimism

There is plenty of pessimism regarding the Lakers chances come Tuesday night but if history is any indication; fans have reason to be excited about the possibilities.

Over the last 10 draft lotteries (since 2004), a team slotted #6 or later pre-lottery have jumped into the top three in the lottery seven times.   The #6 slot has received a top three pick four times in 10 years.

Much was made about the Lakers “tanking” to get one of the worst three records in the league, but that point is mute as the last time the teams with the worst three records actually got the top three picks was back in 1996.

Whatever the outcome is, good or bad, this lottery has huge implications on the Lakers moving forward.  Whether it decides to keep the pick, hoping for the next franchise player in Los Angeles or if it trades the pick to bring in an established player, the results will shape the way the team constructs the team for next season.   It also surely will have an impact on the coaching search which will likely gain steam after Tuesday’s lottery results are announced.

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NBA Draft
Image: Mike Stobe | Getty Images

To trade or not to trade? That seems to be the question amongst the Lakers’ front office.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News’ Mark Medina, Lakers’ general manager Mitch Kupchak says he is willing to trade the current pick (projected position 1-9) for a good offer. He also wants to trade for another pick for middle/late 1st round.

I have long been an advocate for the Lakers trading their 2014 draft pick regardless of position if it nets them a superstar like Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving or Minnesota Timberwolves stud Kevin Love. Both players are ready to contribute right away.

It is no secret the Lakers’ $48 million dollar man, Kobe Bryant, wants to win now. Despite how you may feel about his hefty extension, the Lakers owe it to themselves and Bryant to make sure that they are in the best possible situation when it comes to contending.

Not making the playoffs, or struggling to secure an eighth seed in the Western Conference will be deemed as a failure for the franchise where championship or bust is everything.

Your move, Mitch.

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With the Lakers off to a poor start, trade rumors have begun to swirl around Kobe Bryant, leading many to speculate if he'll leave for greener pastures. Kobe puts those rumors to rest in his interview with Yahoo Sports.