Mon 18/05/2015 - 21:34 EDT

Lakers Have Most To Lose In 2015 NBA Draft Lottery

Tuesday night is potentially the most important day of the offseason for the 14 teams that missed the NBA playoffs as the league stages the annual draft lottery. This year's will be shown at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between Houston and Golden State.

Need To Know

The Minnesota Timberwolves passed the New York Knicks in the final week of the season to finish with the worst record at 16-66. The Wolves helped themselves by closing on a 12-game  losing streak while the Knicks, who had the worst record most of the year,  won three of their final six. Thus Minnesota will have the most ping-pong balls in the lottery. Teams can't slip more than three spots from their current order. So Minnesota will pick no worse than fourth, the Knicks fifth, etc.  Entering their 11th straight lottery, the Timberwolves have had traditionally lousy luck, never winning the top pick and, In fact, never improving on their odds-on spot. They have stayed at the same spot eight times and slid 10 times.

Fourteen ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 will be placed in a lottery machine. There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Prior to the lottery, 1,000 of those 1,001 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating lottery teams. If the same team comes up more than once, the result is discarded and another 4-ball combination is selected. Also, if the one unassigned combination is drawn, the balls are drawn to the top again.

The will be assigned the first 250 combinations. The Oklahoma City Thunder, the best team in the lottery at 45-37, will have only five combinations out of 1,000. The Wolves are predictably +250 favorites at BetOnline to win the lottery. The past two No. 1 overall picks both play for Minnesota: Andrew Wiggins, who was this season's Rookie of the Year, and Anthony Bennett. Both of those guys were taken by Cleveland the past two years and traded in the Kevin Love deal. The team with the highest percentage to win the lottery hasn't since 2004 when the Magic won it and took Dwight Howard. The lowest percentage shot to hit was Orlando in 1993 when it  had a 1.52 percent shot. The Cavs had only a 1.7  percent chance last season.

This lottery means more perhaps to the Lakers than any team. Their selection is Top 5 protected due to the 2012 trade for Steve Nash, and there is an 84 percent chance that L.A. keeps it. However, if two teams that are slotted fifth through 14th jump into the Top 3 – a 17 percent chance – the Lakers would lose the pick to Philadelphia (via Phoenix). The Sixers got it in the Michael-Carter Williams/Brandon Knight three-way deal in February with Milwaukee and Phoenix. Lakers head coach Byron Scott will represent the team at the live event.

The No. 1 pick this year is expected to be either Duke big man Jahlil Okafor or Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns. Offensively, the 6-11 Towns could join the growing ranks of big men with shooting range. Meanwhile, Okafor's post-up game would be a rarity in a league that has spread the floor more with smaller players.

Chances Of Winning Top Pick (with BetOnline odds)

Minnesota (16-66): 25% (+250)

New York (17-65): 19.9% (+350)

Philadelphia (18-64): 15.6% (+450)

L.A. Lakers (21-61): 11.9% (+550)

Orlando (25-57): 8.8% (+1000)

Sacramento (29-53): 6.3% (+1200)

Denver (30-52): 4.3% (+2000)

Detroit (32-50): 2.8% (+2800)

Charlotte (33-49): 1.7% (+4000)

Miami (37-45): 1.1% (+5000)

Indiana (38-44): 0.8% (+8000)

Utah (38-44): 0.7% (+10000)

Phoenix (39-43): 0.6% (+10000)

Oklahoma City (45-37): 0.5% (+10000)

Category : Betting Picks

Tag : 2015 nba draft lottery , lakers lottery , nba basketball odds

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