Lakers’ Lottery Odds

Boston Celtics v Los Angeles LakersWith just one game remaining in the 2013-14 season, we have a pretty good idea about the Lakers’ odds in the lottery for the 2014 NBA Draft.

INVERSE STANDINGS (Remaining Opponent):
1) Milwaukee: 15-66 (ATL)
2) Philadelphia: 18-63 (@MIA)
3) Orlando: 23-58 (IND)
4) Utah: 24-57 (@MIN)
5) Boston: 25-56 (WAS)
6) Lakers: 26-55 (@SAS)
7) Sacramento: 28-53 (PHX)
8) Detroit: 29-52 (@OKC)

With L.A.’s win at Utah on Monday evening, they assured that they’ll finish no lower than tied for fifth place with Boston, and no higher than sixth, the slot they currently occupy.

If Boston beats Washington at home, and the Lakers lose at San Antonio, both teams would finish 26-56 on the season. There are no tiebreaker rules used as with playoff teams for seeding, however. Both teams would receive the average of the total number of combinations for the slots that they occupy, and if the average number isn’t an integer, a coin flip is used to determine which team receives extra combinations. If neither team jumps into the top three of the lottery, that coin flip dictates which team would select fifth, and which team sixth.

So in short: to move into the fifth slot, L.A. would need a loss, plus a Boston win, and then a win in a coin flip versus the Celtics. The Lakers will have the sixth-best odds if they win at San Antonio, if Boston loses to Washington or if they lose the coin flip and neither team moves into the top three.

CHANCES FOR LANDING THE TOP OVERALL PICK:
1) 250 combinations, 25.0% chance of receiving the #1 pick
2) 199 combinations, 19.9% chance
3) 156 combinations, 15.6% chance
4) 119 combinations, 11.9% chance
5) 88 combinations, 8.8% chance
6) 63 combinations, 6.3% chance

In the lottery, a team can move no farther than three picks below its slot, and that’s in the extremely unlikely event that three lower team all move into the top three positions. Below are the odds of which selection the team with the fifth- and sixth-best odds will make:

Fifth Seed:
1st: 8.8*%; 2nd: 9.7%; 3rd: 10.7%; 4th: N/A; 5th: 26.1%; 6th: 36.0%; 7th: 8.4%; 8th: 0.4%
*In the case that the Lakers get the fifth seed, they’d have an 8.8 percent chance of receiving the No. 1 overall selection, a 9.7 percent chance at the second pick and so on.

Sixth Seed:
1st: 6.3%; 2nd: 7.1%; 3rd: 8.1%; 4th: N/A; 5th: N/A; 6th: 43.9%; 7th: 30.5%; 8th: 4.0%; 9th: 0.1%

The 2014 NBA Draft lottery takes places on Tuesday, May 20, and the Draft itself occurs on Thursday, June 26.