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.
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.