The Los Angeles Lakers' franchise-worst season comes to it's final stop on May 19 during the NBA Draft lottery. Their 21-61 record locked the Lakers into the fourth-best odds of landing the top pick heading into the lottery, but everything is in the air until the order is finalized one agonizing place at a time.
The odds are in favor of the Lakers holding on to their top-five protected 2015 first-round pick, but there's still a 17.2 percent chance they can slide to either the sixth or seventh slot. Should that happen, the Philadelphia 76ers will acquire the rights to the draft pick, and the Lakers would be without a lottery selection to ease the pain of falling hard last season. The pick was originally traded to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Steve Nash, but was moved at the trade deadline as part of a multi-team deal that sent Michael Carter-Williams to Milwaukee and Brandon Knight to Phoenix.
There's only a 9.9 percent chance the Lakers will stand pat with the fourth-overall pick. There's a significantly higher chance Los Angeles drops down one spot to fifth (35.1 percent), which would be reminiscent of how the last lottery played out when the Lakers dropped from sixth-overall to seventh.
That also means there's a fairly good chance the purple and gold draft higher than fourth on draft night, which could be a huge swing of momentum. The Lakers have a 13.3 percent chance of skipping up to third, a 12.6 percent chance they move up to second, and a 11.9 percent chance Mitch Kupchak and company get to pop champagne in celebration of landing the first-overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft.
A 37.8 percent chance of moving up to a top-three pick is exciting, but anything can happen on lottery night. Just last year the Cleveland Cavaliers moved all the way up from the ninth position and cashed in a 1.7 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick. The Washington Wizards moved up to third-overall with a 3.5 percent chance of doing so in 2013, and that same year the Cavaliers moved up from third to first . No team moved during the 2012 NBA Draft lottery, while the Cavaliers (via the Clippers) moved up to the first pick with a 2.8 percent chance of doing so.
Odds are at least one team is going to move up for a top-three pick. Will it be the Lakers? We'll find out Tuesday. Live television coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.
(Full NBA Draft lottery odds, via Tankathon.com)