Lakers

Lakers' lottery fate to be decided Tuesday

Lakers will finally know whether they will have a top pick in the 2015 draft on Tuesday night

On Tuesday, at approximately 5:30 p.m. Pacific time, the Lakers will learn the fate of their 2015 first-round pick.

After a disastrous 21-win season, the Lakers have an 11.9% chance at the top overall pick -- but more important, the team has an 82.8% chance of holding onto its pick altogether.

As part of the ill-fated Steve Nash trade, the Lakers owe their first-round selection to the Philadelphia 76ers, but only if their draft selection drops to No. 6 (16% chance) or No. 7 (1.2%).

If the Lakers survive the lottery, they'll send their 2016 first-rounder to the 76ers (top-three protected).  Naturally, the team hopes to be a lot better next season, in part because of the player they hope to land with their pick.

The top big men in the draft include Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein, along with Duke's Jahlil Okafor

Emmanuel Mudiay, who played in China, and Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell are the highest-ranked guards. Duke's Justise Winslow is likely the top small forward.

The lottery results will determine who the Lakers pair with a healthy Julius Randle, the team's 2014 seventh overall pick who was injured for the year on opening night with a broken leg, and Jordan Clarkson, who was named to the NBA's all-rookie first team on Monday.

Russell and Clarkson would make an intriguing backcourt pairing, likely prompting the Lakers to seek a big-name forward and/or center in free agency this summer.

Okafor, Towns or Cauley-Stein, with Randle, would give the Lakers size for the future with free-agent money likely spent on a small forward and/or point guard.

Or perhaps the Lakers fall to six or seven, left with the Houston Rockets' 27th overall pick (acquired with Jeremy Lin), the Lakers' own second-round selection (34th) and possibly too many holes to fill over the summer.

The Lakers have a better chance of climbing to a top-three pick (37.8%) than falling to five (35.1%). Staying where they currently stand at four has relatively scant odds (9.9%).

The teams will be announced in reverse order. The Lakers will be hoping to see the Denver Nuggets at seventh and the Sacramento Kings at sixth.

Denver has a 15% chance of jumping into the top three, while the Kings have odds of almost 22%.

Even if the Lakers fall from four to five, they'll be celebrating.  Five is significantly better than no pick at all.

Whatever the answer, the results will be revealed on Tuesday via ESPN.

Email Eric Pincus at eric.pincus@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.

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