The Lakers Brook Lopez is out of action for at least three weeks with a sprained ankle. He is only averaging 22.4 MPG, 12.8 PPG and 4.2 RPG, all well short of his career numbers. His loss won't have a major negative effect on the Lakers record, but it won't take much of a drop to place their 2018 draft pick in the 2-5 range which sends it to the Boston Celtics.

The Lakers currently hold the eighth-worst record in the League and are obviously positioned to pick eighth in the draft, but in that case the pick conveys to the Philadelphia 76'ers. If it falls between second and fifth, it goes to Boston.

In mock drafts, the players slotted in the top five include DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Luka Doncic, Michael Porter, Mohamed Bamba and Collin Sexton. The Lakers have no incentive to tank since they don't own their own pick. They are currently on a three-game losing streak, and once again, the loss of Lopez for several weeks should not have much of a negative impact, but it does shorten their rotations. A drop from eighth-worst to fifth-worst record at the end of the season is all we ask for.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Ryan Kang/AP Photo

Tom Lane 12/20/2017 05:35:00 AM Edit
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