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Land The Picks, Sam: Will The Lakers Catch The Sixers?

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The Lakers are gaining ground on the Sixers in their ongoing quest to increase their odds of keeping their 2016 Draft pick.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Team: Los Angeles Lakers (9-39)

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

Pick Status: The Lakers' losing ways continue. They have lost eight consecutive games and have only a 1.5 game separation between themselves and the Sixers for the top overall pick in the draft. They took an 18-point loss on the chin at the hands of the Trail Blazers, the same team the Sixers bludgeoned by 25 points, and then had what for Sixers fans can only be described for as an agonizing to the Mavericks. While the Sixers have been (relatively) surging, the Lakers have been (relatively) slumping. Look for the Lakers' slumping ways to continue this week with a game against the Clippers though perhaps they may pick up a win or two with games against the Hornets, Timberwolves, and Pelicans.

Chance of Pick Conveying: What once seemed impossible at the start of the season now seems rather likely. The Lakers could very well past the Sixers, and Draft Lottery night is going to be a long night of holding your breath and hoping the Lakers fall out of the top 3.

Team: Miami Heat (25-21)

Protections: 1-10 in 2016, unprotected in 2017

Pick Status: The Miami Heat represent quite the enigma. The Heat took advantage of an easy schedule to get off to a hot start but since then found themselves devolving back into mediocrity and teetering along the edge of a playoff berth. Fortunately for the Heat, after losing seven of their last eight games they have won two in a row, including an impressive 89-84 win at Chicago and a less than impressive 102-98 at Brooklyn. Beginning tonight the Heat will embark on a four-game week with perhaps a simple visit to Milwaukee before things pick up with a game against the Hawks, and then they will visit Texas for games against the Rockets and Mavericks.

Chance of Pick Conveying: The Heat are 4.5 games outside the lottery, representing a fairly decent chance this pick will in fact convey to the Sixers. That said, assuming it does convey, the Sixers will much prefer the Heat end the season outside the playoffs to maximize the value and reward of this long-awaited pick.

Team: Sacramento Kings (20-25)

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: Unfortunately for the Sixers, the Kings represent one of the league's biggest surprises this season. The Kings are just a half game outside the 8-seed of the Western Conference playoffs and that's a disappointment for them considering the Kings have lost their last three games to Charlotte, Portland, and New Orleans, not exactly a murderer's row of competition. Upcoming for the Kings they have a home game against the Bucks sandwiched between a trip to Memphis and a home game against the Bulls.

Chance of Pick Conveying: Barring a lottery miracle, this one's looking like a no.

Team: Oklahoma City Thunder (35-13)

Protections: 1-15 in 2016 and 2017

Pick Status: The Thunder are among the top teams in the Western Conference and, having won nine of their last ten games, do not seem to be stopping any time soon with the lone exception being that their one loss in their last ten games was a shocking 10-point loss to the Nets. The Thunder will seek to extend their winning ways this week with a three game homestand featuring the Rockets, Wizards, and Magic.

Chance of Pick Conveying: It's going to convey, it's just not going to convey to a pick Sixers fans might have hoped for had the Thunder made the playoffs last season.

Team: Golden State Warriors (42-4)

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: And now for the weekly time where Liberty Ballers gets to gush about how great and perfect the Warriors are. Because the Warriors are great and perfect and they are a sight to behold every time they take the court. They represent one of the greatest teams of this generation, and yet find themselves with a need to play competitive basketball night in and night out because the Spurs are only three games behind them.

Chance of Pick Conveying: What are your chances of marrying your favorite supermodel? Because the Sixers have the same odds of this pick conveying.