Where do the Lakers stand going into tonight’s NBA draft lottery?

The NBA draft lottery takes place in New York on May 16 at 8:00 PM ET

When: Tonight, 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: New York Hilton Midtown
TV: ESPN

This year, the Lakers have a 46.9 percent chance, the third-best odds, of landing a top-three pick in tonight’s NBA draft lottery.

They follow the Boston Celtics, whose pick comes from the Brooklyn Nets, with the highest odds at 64.26 percent and the Phoenix Suns at 55.82 percent.

Were it not for an unabashed five-game win streak in April, the Lakers’ chances at a top-three pick would have been higher.

In fact, if the Lakers are unable to clinch a top-three pick, they must surrender their first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Why?

In a previous trade deal, the Lakers traded several draft picks — one of them being their (top-five protected) 2015 first-round pick — for Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash trade back in 2012. Phoenix then traded this 2015 first-round pick to Philadelphia prior to the 2015 draft. Because the Lakers landed a top-three pick in 2015, Philadelphia was forced to pick up the Lakers’ (top-three protected) 2016 first-round pick. When the Lakers landed a top-three pick in 2016, Philadelphia was forced to pick up the Lakers’ (top-three protected) 2017 first-round pick. If the Lakers land a top-three pick this year, Philadelphia will pick up the Lakers’ (unprotected) 2018 first-round pick.

But wait, the Lakers still have a first-round pick.

Earlier this year, in a deal with the Houston Rockets, the Lakers traded Lou Williams in exchange for Houston’s Corey Brewer and their (unprotected) first-round pick — selecting at 28th.

This is the first year Lakers’ President of Basketball Operations Earvin “Magic” Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka will get to determine the direction of the Lakers’ franchise.

“I feel good about it,” Johnson said. “We’re looking forward to hopefully keeping the top-three pick. We got a plan in place for that, and if we don’t we’ve got a plan in place if we don’t. We’re ready to go. I think what it is, is we just gotta get to that date and see what happens. You want to know. The unknown is always — all right let’s just get it going so we’ll know.”

NBA Lottery Odds 2017

NBA Lottery Odds 2017

Trades and pick protections

  1. Boston owns the rights to swap first-round picks with Brooklyn.
  2. The Lakers will send their first-round pick to the 76ers if it falls outside the top three.
  3. Philadelphia owns the rights to swap picks with Sacramento inside the top 10. If the Kings’ pick falls out of the top 10, it will go to the Bulls.
  4. New Orleans will send its first-round pick to Sacramento if it falls outside the top three.

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