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NBA Standings 2012: New Jersey Nets And The Draft Lottery

Although the New Jersey Nets are 22-39 on the season and have been eliminated from playoff contention for a while, the five games left on their schedule could still have serious NBA Draft Lottery implications.

As it stands, the Nets are the seventh-worst team in the NBA, but only half a game up on Toronto and Cleveland, and one game behind Detroit and Golden State. The Nets could conceivably finish anywhere from the fifth-worst team to the 10th-worst – a difference between a 20 percent chance at a top-three pick and a four percent chance.

If the Nets don't draft in the top three, the Portland Trail Blazers will receive their first-rounder, from the Gerald Wallace trade.

The Nets also have interest-in the Western Conference standings, because if the Rockets miss the playoffs, New Jersey will receive their first round pick.

Best case scenario, the Nets could have two picks in the top 14, including a top-three pick.

For more on the Nets, head to Nets Daily and for more updates throughout the season, follow SB Nation New York's StoryStream.