Lakers set at fourth in the lottery, draft position up in the air

Lakers secure fourth-worst record for NBA draft lottery, now await their fate on draft position

With the Philadelphia 76ers (18-62) losing on Saturday to the Chicago Bulls, the Lakers (21-58) were officially locked into fourth position in the NBA draft lottery.

Even if the Lakers lose their final three games, they'll still finish ahead of the Sixers in the standings, but behind in the lottery.

The Orlando Magic (25-55) has the 26th-worst overall record in the NBA, fifth in the lottery, which will be held May 19.

The top prospects in the 2015 draft pool probably include Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein, Duke's Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow, and Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell. 

Point guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who played overseas in China instead of in college, is also expected to go high in the draft.

At fourth, the Lakers have 11.9% odds of winning the top overall pick, 12.6% for second, 13.3% for third, 9.9% for fourth and 35.1% for fifth.

If the Lakers drop to sixth (16.0% chance) or seventh (1.2%), their 2015 draft pick will go to the 76ers, as part of the Steve Nash trade with the Phoenix Suns.

Should the Lakers keep their selection in June, they'll owe their 2016 first-rounder to Philadelphia, with top-three protection.

The Lakers' combined chances of moving up from fourth are 37.8% but 52.3% that they drop.  The most likely outcome is the fifth pick, one the Lakers would happily take instead of the combined 17.2% chance they fall out altogether.

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

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