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Land the Picks, Sam: D'Angelo Russell Helps Lakers Win Games, Sixers' Draft Lottery Odds

D'Angelo Russell is heating up at the perfect time.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Team: Los Angeles Lakers (12-50)

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

Pick Status: After losing eight straight games, the Lakers finally picked up a win with a 107-101 against the Nets. D'Angelo Russell continued his solid play by posting a career high 39 points, including 8-12 from beyond the arc. Given that the Sixers have lost 10 in a row, the fact that the Lakers won simply a game feels quite meaningful. At this point the Lakers are three and a half games behind the Sixers in the race to land the top overall pick in the 2016 draft with less than two months remaining in the season. This coming week the Lakers play Hawks, Warriors, Magic, and Cavaliers, none of which exactly promising for a Lakers win. Then again, that's true for every Lakers opponent this year.

Chance of Pick Conveying: If the Lakers placement does not change through the end of the season, 44.2% the Lakers pick conveys to the Sixers. Given four games separate the Lakers and the Suns, 44.2% might be the best odds the Sixers have of the Lakers' pick conveying. Those odds are not impossible!

Team: Miami Heat (35-26)

Protections: 1-10 in 2016, unprotected in 2017

Pick Status: Despite being without Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat are continuing to win and if the season ended today they would be the Eastern Conference 4-seed. Four and a half games (and seven teams) separate Miami from the draft lottery and nine and a half games separate the Heat from the top 10. Sixers fans are fairly safe in rooting for Heat losses at this point in games where they are not playing the Sixers. Up next for the Heat are games against the Suns before a home-and-home series with the Sixers followed by a Wednesday night trip to Milwaukee.

Chance of Pick Conveying: If the Heat make the playoffs, 100% it conveys to the Sixers. If the Heat falter and miss out on the playoffs - and falling into top 10 lottery odds feels impossible at this point, there will be an over 97% chance the pick conveys to the Sixers as a late lottery pick.

Team: Oklahoma City Thunder (42-20)

Protections: 1-15 in 2016 and 2017

Pick Status: The Thunder are 42-20 and yet find themselves closer to falling out of the playoffs than catching the 1st place Warriors which is mind-numbing when you consider that the Thunder are 13 games ahead of the ninth seeded Jazz and are in absolutely zero chance of falling back. I guess what I'm saying is the Thunder are a really good team, but the Warriors are an all-time elite team illustrated by the Thunder's 121-106 loss to the Warriors late last night. This week the Thunder play the Bucks and and the Clippers.

Chance of Pick Conveying: Virtually 100%. Dennis Schroeder, come on down! You're the next contestant on "Sam Hinkie Makes A Draft Day Trade!"

Team: Sacramento Kings (25-35)

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: Ah, the Kings. The Kings are a delightful little trainwreck. Performance art enthusiasts everywhere who follow the Kings on a daily basis report lost to the Spurs, Clippers, and Thunder this week before barely edging out the Mavericks. The Kings currently have the 10th best lottery odds and are in the middle of a cluster of teams between 6 and 12 all within five games of each other. Games this week against the Spurs, Pelicans, and Cavaliers should be the inspiration for at least two more Kings losses while Draft Lottery enthusiasts everywhere will  surely be glued to their television sets during Kings-Pelicans.

Chance of Pick Conveying: As things currently stand, the Sacramento Kings have a 4.0% of jumping into the top 3 of the lottery but things are close enough now that the Kings could fluctuate in either direction.

Team: Golden State Warriors (55-5)

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: Don't watch the Warriors because the Sixers have the right to swap picks with them. That's not going to happen. Watch the Warriors because they are one of the most awesome basketball teams the league has ever seen.

Chance of Pick Conveying: 0.0%.

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