With the NBA Playoffs beginning over the weekend and the Los Angeles Lakers sitting out for the second straight year, the team is focused on the off-season with the draft as an important step.
The Lakers finished with the league’s fourth worst record and will have to wait until the lottery on May 19 to find out where they pick. Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist and longtime Laker fan Flea anticipates the date as well and lobbied to be the team’s representative during the lottery festivities, according to his Twitter:
Dear @Lakers if you want me to go represent for the lottery I will. I assure 1st or 2nd pick.
— Flea (@flea333) April 19, 2015
When the Lakers partook in the lottery last year, the team sent James Worthy who was the team’s first overall pick during the 1982 NBA Draft. Despite sending Worthy for some good luck charm, the Lakers actually fell down a spot and eventually drafted Julius Randle with their selection.
This year’s lottery holds important implications for the Lakers and their rebuild. As a result of the 2012 Steve Nash trade, the team needs to land a pick in the top-five, otherwise it gets awarded to the Philadelphia 76ers who received the rights during this season’s trade deadline.
As it stands, the Lakers currently have a 17.2 percent chance of losing their pick while the odds of them landing the first overall pick is 11.9 percent. Centers Jahill Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns headline the prospect list. Guards D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay fall just behind them.
The Lakers have plenty of roster needs and will look to address some of them during the draft. In addition to a potential top-five pick, the team also holds a late first round pick at 27 and an early second rounder at 34. Those picks still hold value for the team looking to add talent everywhere.[divide]