The 2015 NBA Draft Lottery order is firming up as the season draws to a close. The situation solidified Wednesday as a result of the Orlando Magic's thrilling, come-from-behind win over the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers' blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets.
Orlando's victory, its third consecutive, improved it to 25-53 with four games to play. Los Angeles, also with four games remaining, dropped to 20-58 on the season. As such, the Magic cannot "catch" the Lakers in the proverbial "race" to the bottom of the league's standings. Put another way, the Magic are assured of having at least four teams ahead of them in the Lottery.
The Sacramento Kings can also "catch" the Magic; they currently stand at 27-51. If they lose out, and if Orlando wins three of its final four games, then the Kings will own the league's fifth-worst record and thus have the fifth-best Lottery odds.
Under the league's current Lottery system, the team with the league's fifth-worst record has an 8.8-percent chance of winning the top pick and can pick no lower than eighth. The team which finishes sixth from the bottom has a 6.3-percent chance at the same prize and can pick no lower than ninth.
Notably successful players picked in the five-through-nine range in the last five seasons include Damian Lillard (sixth, 2012), Greg Monroe (seventh, 2010), DeMarcus Cousins (fifth, 2010), Gordon Hayward (ninth, 2010), and Andre Drummond (ninth, 2012). On the other end of the spectrum, the same range has produced the likes of Jan Veselý (sixth, 2011), Thomas Robinson (fifth, 2012), and Al-Farouq Aminu (eighth, 2010).
The NBA Draft Lottery is set for May 19th.