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Kings Sit No. 5 In NBA Draft Lottery Race

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Requisite disclaimer: my own position is that I cannot root for the Kings to lose, because wins are important to the growth of this club. However, I openly root for the other bad teams in the league to win on account of that improving Sacramento's draft position potential.

The Kings now sit all alone in the No. 5 spot in the Ping Pong Derby, with 19 wins heading into Saturday's Clippers rematch. The only teams worse are the Bobcats (seven wins), Wizards (12 wins), Hornets (14 wins) and Cavaliers (18 wins). Cleveland won on Friday to break a nine-game skid. They are the only team that the Kings can hope to fall under in the standings.

The Kings' No. 5 status comes on account of some improbable recent wins by other teams in their region, making this a madly close race. To wit: New Jersey and Toronto each have 20 wins, and Detroit and Golden State are at 21. All five of these teams, the Kings included, could end up in any order, really. Keep in mind that the Warriors have a special reason to lose: if their pick lands in the top seven, they keep it. If not, it goes to the Jazz.

And in case you missed it, the Kings have officially been eliminated from playoff contention. I think that makes it okay to pay attention to this stuff now.