NBA teams are "Loading the tank" (Eastern Conference)


NBA teams are “Loading the tank” (Eastern Conference)



Rajon Rondo better get used to the view from below


Maybe we should just cancel the next season..

It’s astounding how many teams will actually tank for next year’s draft class. Some will even joke that the NBA itself tanked with this draft class. Some teams are clearly not even trying to improve.

What’s astounding is that even teams that have a lot of pride seem to be riding the tank. While we know that there’s a lottery and no one can assure themselves of getting the first overall pick, next year’s draft is projected to be so deep, you can still find a franchise player all the way to number 6 Only the 1984/2003 draft can boast of that, 1996 is good, but the better players came late (Kobe/Nash at 13/15). They were kinda like freaks in that sense.

The NBA will have a great divide this season. Now, more than ever, will the gap between the “win now” teams and the “why did we even show up” teams will be very, very wide. It’s not just the rookies, but also the free agents, by the way.  So later in the season, there will be massive fire-sale trades where Team Win-now will grab team No-show’s star in exchange for expiring contracts.

Here are teams that are probably in tank mode, and the incriminating evidence:

1. Boston Celtics – the end of the Ubuntu era could not have come at a more opportune time.. The Celtics line-up will be Rajon Rondo and the jokes. No matter how much the Celtic faithful will quote about “Celtic Pride,” you have to admit that this is not the first time the Celtics have tanked. They did it for Duncan (he’s worth it) but failed. They ended up with “Best Teammate” Chauncey Billups..who won that award by virtue of having the most friends in the league..by virtue of being traded too much.



2. Philadelphia 76ers – They just traded their newly minted all-star point guard. For an injured rookie center, after their resident injured center never played a game for them. They could make that excuse-we let Bynum walk away because we have Nerlens.. They also have a tall point guard who is valued for his athleticism (like most of the Sixers) but questioned for his poor decision making (which is the skill a point guard should have).



3. Charlotte Hornets – Are they tanking or are they just incompetent? You never really know with the Bobcats. Cody Zeller before Noel, Len or McLemore..are they drafting based on team needs? Well, what they need is a time machine to bring their owner to his playing prime. Wiggins is probably closer to that than anyone they have, or drafted. Exactly the point.



4. Cleveland Cavaliers – Another tanking expert. They pulled it off 10 years ago. They pulled it off this year. At least they postured enough to try and trade for Kevin Love, Danny Granger, Paul Pierce and LaMarcus Aldridge..all teams declining the number one pick. Thus, they ended up using the top pick to fill that need. They also have an excuse for another lottery appearance. The Cavs were notorious for celebrating too much when they won this year’s lottery..they were actually practicing for next year. Remember, the draft lottery is an annual event in Cleveland.

36 year old Father of four, proud Laker fan since '85. Writer, English teacher who hopes to watch hoops incessantly for a living.