The Los Angeles Lakers have been objectively terrible this season. Their record currently stands at 14-53, the second worst overall mark in the NBA behind the Philadelphia 76ers. If the season ended today, their futility would give them the second best odds of getting the first overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft, and a 55.8 percent chance to have a top-three overall selection (in which case their pick would not be conveyed to Philadelphia as a result of the Steve Nash sign-and-trade).
LSU freshman Ben Simmons is widely expected to be taken within the top two picks in the draft after averaging 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and two steals during his first and only season in the NCAA. Simmons was notably a teammate of Lakers rookie D'Angelo Russell's in high school at Montverde Academy in Florida, and Russell told Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report that the two wouldn't mind teaming up once again next season:
"We're real close friends," Russell said of Simmons. "[When we talk] it's obvious: 'Oh, man, I hope you come here.' It's obvious. But we talk about a lot of other things."
Simmons has also made no effort to hide his love for the Lakers. The freshman forward attended the Lakers' game against the New Orleans Pelicans in February and has posted numerous pictures on social media of himself decked out in forum blue and gold. He and Russell even posed for a photo after that game in what could be a preview of the team's starting lineup next year.
The Lakers have to keep their pick first and be fortunate enough to have Simmons available when they select, but both Russell and Simmons sound like they are ready to team up once again in a different shade of yellow.
All stats per Sports Reference. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.