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Land The Picks, Sam: Losses Ahead For Miami?

Miami might be heading towards a skid, meanwhile nobody can figure out the Kings.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Team: Los Angeles Lakers (9-32)

Protections: 1-3 in 2016 and 2017, unprotected in 2018

Pick Status: The Lakers are losers of five of their last six games, but credit where it's due, they've been very competitive for the most part. After fighting back against the Sacramento Kings on Jan. 7, Los Angeles rode Lou Williams for 44 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder, only to fall 117-113. Their best work over the past week was a 95-91 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, closing the gap between the Lakers and the third best lottery odds. As of today, the Brooklyn Nets (whose pick is owned by Boston) are just 2.5 GB of Los Angeles, with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns not too far out of the picture. The Lakers take on the Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and the San Antonio Spurs over the next four games, and it's not out of the question for them to steal a couple games there.

Chance of Pick Conveying: The pick has a 55.8 percent chance of staying in the top three, and a 44.2 percent chance of going to the Sixers.

Team: Miami Heat (23-17)

Protections: 1-10 in 2016, unprotected in 2017

Pick Status: The Heat were riding high through the first third of the season, but they're beginning to hit a wall. Miami is currently in the midst of a six-game road trip, with three straight losses against the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, and Utah Jazz. On Friday, it took a triple-double (19 points, 17 rebounds, 11 blocks) from Hassan Whiteside for Miami to eek out a three-point victory over the Denver Nuggets. They currently hold the 23rd overall pick in this year's draft, and Basketball Reference projects them to most likely end up between picks 20-23. However, 24 of their remaining 42 games are on the road, and the Heat are just 8-9 away from American Airlines Arena. The losses may be coming.

Chance of Pick Conveying: Still as solid as ever.

Team: Sacramento Kings (16-23)

Protections: Philadelphia has the right to swap their first-round pick with Sacramento's first round pick, as long as it's in the top 10.

Pick Status: Sacramento has been a tough team to figure out this year in terms of their direction. On Wednesday, the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Kings 109-97 on 16-33 shooting from beyond the arc. Sacramento then turned around a day later and beat the Utah Jazz on the road, thanks to a Rudy Gay game-winner. This team goes through spurts where they look like they're on the cusp of breaking through, then lose a couple demoralizing games, hurling the fan base towards DEFCON 1. It's really interesting to watch. Sacramento currently sits with the 9th best lottery odds, and I imagine they'll stay right around that area. Basketball Reference has them most likely ending up in that position.

Chance of Pick Conveying: 6.1 percent chance of being top three, and a 1.6 percent chance of earning the top overall pick. Not totally out of the quesiton.

Team: Oklahoma City Thunder (29-12)

Protections: 1-15 in 2016 and 2017

Pick Status: Nothing new to see here. The current third seed in the Western Conference are winners of five of their last six games, and Kevin Durant is averaging 26.4 points on 51.6% shooting over his past five games. Russell Westbrook messed around and earned a triple-double against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Friday's victory, and rookie Cameron Payne has chipped in 14 points of his own. Payne is a fun player to watch, and a really good shooter. He should get some more minutes next to Westbrook as the season goes on. The Thunder currently hold the 27th overall pick, and that's unlikely to change.

Chance of Pick Conveying: Stone cold lock.

Team: Golden State Warriors (37-3)

Protections: Philadelphia has the right to swap the less favorable of Miami's 2016 first-round pick (protected 1-10), or Oklahoma City's 2016 first-round pick (protected 1-15), for Golden State's 2016 first round pick.

Pick Status: Golden State recently lost their third game of the season. It's mid-January.

Chance of Pick Conveying: Zero.

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