Say goodbye to dreams of DeAndre Ayton, Luka Doncic, or Mo Bamba, Celtics fans. That Lakers pick is becoming more worthless by the day.
Not even LaVar Ball can screw up what’s going on in Los Angeles. In case you haven’t noticed, the Lakers have won 11 of 15 since a nine-game losing streak saddled them with the third-worst record in the NBA on Jan. 5.
They’re now 22-31, good for 11th in the West, percentage points behind the Knicks for the 10th spot in the NBA lottery — and New York just lost All-Star Kristaps Porzingis for the season to a torn ACL.
This is relevant locally because if the Lakers finish with anywhere from the second to fifth pick in the draft, it will convey to the Celtics.
The way the lottery works, the Lakers can only move into the top three from their current ninth position, but the odds are wildly against it. They have just a 4.4 percent chance of landing at 2 or 3. And if they keep winning, those odds will plummet to 2 percent or less.
Making the recent run more impressive is that it has come without first-round pick Lonzo Ball. The point guard has missed the last 10 games and the Lakers have won without him, thanks to the emergence of guard Jordan Clarkson and a bunch of other people you haven’t heard of. They even beat the Celtics along the way, leading to Marcus Smart’s losing battle with a picture frame.
Realistically, the only way the Celtics have any shot at the pick conveying is if the Lakers finish in the bottom five, and that’s not happening. Memphis, Phoenix, Sacramento, and Dallas have a lock on the last four spots in the West, and the Hawks, Magic, Nets, and now Knicks should race to the basement in the East.
There’s some good news, though. If the Celtics don’t get the Lakers’ pick this year, they’ll almost definitely pick up the Kings’ pick next year, as long as it’s not No. 1. The Kings don’t know how to do anything other than stink, so if you can stomach some delayed gratification, the chances of hitting the lottery in 2019 look pretty tremendous, at which point we’ll need to familiarize ourselves with names like R.J. Barrett, Bol Bol (Manute’s kid), and Zion Williamson, who are this year’s top high school seniors, which makes them next year’s lottery studs.
Full article @ Celtics can say goodbye to Lakers pick, but here’s why that might not be a bad thing (Hint: the Kings stink)
Source: GreenStreet Blog