Bored at work, it's time to do some math! I'm using last year as a benchmark. If the year before had not been a short season I could pretty easily go back several years for trend analysis, but there are so many other contributing factors I'm not sure it's worth it anyway. So this is pretty weak analysis, but here it is anyway.
Last year, the 8th seed in the West had a 45-37 record. The Kings are currently 13-22. They would have to go 32-15, a .681 clip, to make that record. However, this year the West teams have a better record than they did at this time last year, so we might have to account for that. If the current 8th seed, Dallas, finishes the way they've started, they'll end up with 48 wins. So the Kings might actually have to go 35-12.
Getting the #1 Pick, or at least getting the most ping pong balls
in 12-13 the Magic managed a sterling 20-62 record. Unless Boogie, The Great Rudini, and The Hustlin' Huskie are all benched for the rest of the season, I just can't see the Kings finishing the season 7-40. Plus, I can't see the Bucks winning 20, so this one is off the table.
Losing Our Pick to the Bulls
This is the scariest scenario. Not good enough for the playoffs, too good to keep our pick. Next year, we are 1-12 protected. So only two chances to lose the pick and not make the playoffs. Last year the 13th pick went to Dallas with a .500 record, 41 wins. I would guess this year, based on the strength of the West, that 13th team might actually have a better record. But, using .500, the Kings would have to go 28-19 to be 13th.
28-19. .595. 28 of the last 47 games are on the road. 25 of them are against teams that I have, in my infinite wisdom, marked as "better." Even the Kings of the last 3 games, as opposed to the Kings of the first 32, are not likely to go 28-19. But "not likely" is not impossible, and with Landry coming back, and Rudy seeming like he is playing for a new contract, and the Dominance Of Demarcus, and IT, and JT playing better, and Jimmer!, and Acy, and... this scenario scares me. I would hate to see the team lose by winning. I don't predict it by any means, but now that I know the numbers... I'm scared.