Following a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Los Angeles Lakers playoff chances nearly evaporated and the fans began to turn their attention to the NBA draft and ensuing free agency. Although the Lakers are most likely out of the playoff picture, they do have an outside chance to land Zion Williamson and the number one draft pick as a consolation prize.
Now sitting at 30-34 and five and a half games out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference, the Lakers have one of the toughest remaining schedules in the NBA. The Lakers issues get a bit more complicated when you factor in injured young stars Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Kyle Kuzma now being on the shelf. With only 18 games left, the Lakers are in need of some major help in the form of multiple Clipper, Spur, and King losses.
Updated Lakers NBA Lottery Chances & Number One Pick Odds
Just 2-6 over their last 8 games, the Lakers sit firmly in 10th place in the Western Conference. If the season were to end today, according to Tankathon the Los Angeles Lakers would have a one percent chance in the NBA Draft Lottery to land the number one pick and consensus top prospect Zion Williamson.
The Lakers are most likely to land the 13th pick of the draft with a 92.9 percent chance to do so. The Lakers also have a 1.1 percent chance of landing the second pick, a 1.2 percent of getting the third pick, a 1.4 chance to secure the fourth pick, and a 2.3 chance to land the 14th pick.
Given the fact that the Lakers have one of the tougher remaining schedules in the NBA and suffered yet another injury to key contributor Kyle Kuzma, there is a good chance the Lakers potentially fall even further back in the standings. With the Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans both within a game of the Lakers, they could very well end up looking at slightly better chances to land a top lottery pick.
Lakers NBA Draft Targets
Should the Lakers by some miracle defy the odds and land the top pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, Zion Williamson is by far the best basketball prospect the game has seen in years. Despite lacking ideal height for a modern NBA forward, Williamson already weighs in heavier than anyone in the NBA not named Boban Marjanovic, yet is arguably the most athletic prospect since LeBron James. A freight train attacking the basket, Williamson possesses the size and strength to make a positive impact at the NBA level immediately.
However, in the more likely scenario that the Lakers find themselves picking around the 13 spot, there are a few intriguing options that could help to contribute during LeBron’s time in LA. Romeo Langford is a name that has been thrown around frequently, but he doesn’t possess the necessary three-point shooting to reliably space the floor at the shooting guard spot. Sekou Doumbouya is also an intriguing European prospect who will potentially still be on the board. Doumbouya projects to have the most upside of everyone besides Williamson in the draft, but looks to be much more of a project and will likely not be able to find minutes and contribute right away given the Lakers roster.
Should Keldon Johnson of Kentucky fall into the Lakers lap, he would be an ideal selection around that pick in the draft. Despite slumping over the past two weeks and seeing his draft stock drop slightly, Johnson was shooting better than 40 percent from deep for the majority of the season and is a smooth natural scorer that could contribute positive minutes and help to space the floor immediately.