With three wins against the east, but just one in 14 tries against the Western Conference, the Lakers currently have the fifth-worst record in the
Struggling through one of the heaviest schedules in the league, the Lakers have survived a variety of absences, including those of
As part of the Nash trade with the
The only way the Lakers are 100% guaranteed a draft pick in June is if they finish with the worst or second-worst record. At third-worst, they have a 4% chance to fall to sixth. The odds climb to 20% at fourth and all the way up to 44.7% at fifth.
The top 2015 draft prospects include Duke's Jahlil Okafor, Kentucky's Karl Towns and guard Emmanuel Mudiay, who is playing in China, bypassing collegiate ball.
Coach Byron Scott and the 11 healthy players are trying to win each and every game, but the team has struggled defensively. Still, the Lakers have won two of their last six games and their schedule lightens after a brutal November.
The Lakers play in Detroit and Boston (6-9) this week, two franchises potentially "competing" for draft position. The Lakers' occasional wins continue to put the team in danger of finishing without a playoff berth, yet no draft pick to show for it.
Other teams in range of the Lakers at the bottom include the
If the Lakers do end up keeping their top-five pick, they will owe the Suns their 2016 pick -- top-three protected.