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It's NBA draft lottery time -- the most wonderful (and fraught) time of the year for Lakers these days

It's NBA draft lottery time -- the most wonderful (and fraught) time of the year for Lakers these days

Here we are again. The most enthralling part of the NBA postseason is upon the Lakers.

No confetti. No Game 7s. Just 14 ping-pong balls in a plastic drum that bounce around via air current, blowing franchises into or out of contention for the world's top three amateur players.

It's another mid-May, and instead of trips to purple-and-gold-hating arenas, the Lakers will send General Manager Mitch Kupchak to a New York hotel for Tuesday night's draft lottery.

It's routine these days, the third trip in a row to lotteryville for the Lakers. The stakes seemingly increase every year, and the key number this time is 55.8% — the chances...

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