Given the sorry state of the
The Lakers owe their 2015 first-round draft pick to the
On Friday, the Lakers visit the
As the fourth-worst team in the league, the Lakers would have an 82.8% chance of landing a top-five pick in May's draft lottery. If the Lakers beat the Magic, improving to 14 wins, they would risk falling to fifth -- with just a 55.2% chance of staying in the top five.
Falling to the Magic, the Lakers would stand at 13 wins while Orlando would improve to 16.
Some of the top prospects expected to be in the draft include Duke's Jahlil Okafor, Kentucky's Karl Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein, Arizona's Stanley Johnson, Ohio State's D'Angelo Russell, UCLA's Kevon Looney, Kansas' Kelly Oubre and guard Emmanuel Mudiay, playing overseas in China.
The Lakers have 33 games left this season. They've won at a 26.5% pace. If they continue at the same rate, they'll get eight or nine more wins to finish at 21-61 or 22-60.
The Lakers can't afford to spot Orlando another loss on Friday; instead they need to focus on catching the Philadelphia 76ers (11-39),