Team: Los Angeles Lakers (11-48)
Protections: 1-3 in 2016 and 2017, unprotected in 2018
Pick Status: Losers of seven straight, the Lakers have at least come to their senses in one respect. D'Angelo Russell has finally been given back his starting job, and his shooting is starting to resemble what many expected coming out of college, with the guard posting a three-point percentage of 43.2 in the month of February.
The Sixers aren't exactly burning it down right now, but the Lakers remain close enough to make things nervy if Philly strings a couple wins together, thanks to LA's 3-17 record over their last 20 games. Dates with Brooklyn and Denver within the next week will provide opportunities to gain separation.
Chance of Pick Conveying: 44.2 percent chance of convey, 55.8 percent chance of remaining in the top-3.
Team: Miami Heat (32-25)
Protections: 1-10 in 2016, unprotected in 2017
Pick Status: First things first -- here's hoping Chris Bosh emerges on the other side with a clean bill of health. A Yahoo report earlier this week suggested a possible end to his season, and given last year's premature exit on top of the serious nature of blood clots, my hope is that he makes the decision that protects his long-term health at any costs. The game isn't worth that much.
In the event Bosh sits out the home stretch, the Sixers will hope his Heat companions falter without him. Miami has performed admirably in his absence -- their only post-ASB loss came in a tight one against Golden State -- but it stands to reason that they might slide without him, and they hover just 3.5 games clear of the lottery. Their schedule is jam-packed over the next week, and the Sixers will play a home-and-home with the South Beach-ers next weekend. Major ramifications ahead!
Chance of Pick Conveying: Almost certain.
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder (41-17)
Protections: 1-15 in 2016 and 2017
Pick Status: Oklahoma City can't seem to stay out of the national spotlight lately -- I guess that's what happens when Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook play for you. For all the talk of impending free agency, I find it hard to believe that either could willingly leave such a talented teammate behind in the midst of their primes. You're not going to find many (if any) better running mates on the open market.
Recent national TV losses to the Warriors and Cavs were among the most anticipated games of the year, and the Thunder have several more on the way, with matchups against Golden State and the Clippers looming. A dip during this stretch would be great for Philly.
Chance of Pick Conveying: It will be available to acquire Dennis Schröder in a trade during the 2016 NBA Draft.
Team: Sacramento Kings (24-32)
Protections: Philly 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: If I could submit a Yelp review on how fun it is to follow the Kings when your team owns the rights to a pick-swap in the top-10, I'd give it five stars.
DeMarcus Cousins on his relationship with George Karl: "We're in the same gym." https://t.co/wPTXNCCHIr— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 25, 2016
Sacramento sits 10th from the bottom, with little separation between 6-11 in the lottery.
Chance of Pick Conveying: Currently at 10th, the pick has a 4 percent chance of jumping into the top-3.
Team: Golden State Warriors (52-5)
Protections: Philly 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: Steph Curry is so good that people have to resort to being fake angry about him taunting a beloved former teammate.
Chance of Pick Conveying: