Even though the dust has barely settled on the 2013 NBA Draft and new draftees are showing their wares in the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer Leagues, most of the talk around NBA watercoolers is how a number of teams should be “tanking” to be in the running for the top pick in the loaded 2014 Draft.
Next year’s crop of potential draftees include several franchise changing one-and-doners from the college ranks like Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Aaron Gordon, and the Harrison twins.
And let’s not forget some returning college players like Marcus Smart, Doug McDermott, and Isaiah Austin, who could also shoot into the Lottery with an impressive showing next season.
Many are comparing the 2014 Draft to that of the loaded 2003 edition which produced current NBA studs like Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh.
Just missing the cut for next season are Cleveland, Detroit, LA Lakers, and Washington.
So, let the tanking begin. Here are 10 NBA Teams In Tank Mode For Andrew Wiggins next Summer…
Don’t look now but the Toronto Raptors franchise hasn’t made the postseason since Chris Bosh was on the roster and NBA TV analyst Sam Mitchell was head coach. Geesh. They are finally heading in the right direction with a starting lineup featuring Lowry, DeRozan, Gay, Johnson, and Valanciunas, but is that good enough to make the postseason in the East? No one is sure what direction new GM Masai Ujiri brings in from Denver, but he has already cleaned house in the front office and parted ways with enigmatic former #1 overall pick Andre Bargnani, who is now the Knicks’ problem. Are more moves on the horizon? If they stay put, look for Toronto to be in the mix for the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference, but if rumors persist that Rudy Gay is on the block, Lowry can’t get along with coaches, and Valanciunas cannot stay healthy, look for the Raptors to be in the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes next Summer.
The Milwaukee Bucks are the epitome of a mediocre team in the NBA, stuck winning between 30-40 games each season over the past decade, either finishing just in or out of the annual playoff picture. After making the postseason last year with another sub .500 record, the Bucks have decided to retool the roster, allowing leading scorers Monta Ellis, JJ Redick, and Mike Dunleavy to walk in free agency, amnestying Drew Gooden, and contemplating long and hard whether to re-sign enigmatic PG Brandon Jennings long term. They have a ton of young talent in John Henson, Doron Lamb, and Ekpe Udoh but that’s hardly enough to finish as a Top 8 team in the top heavy Eastern Conference.
There is no denying that the
HornetsPelicans are headed in the right direction behind future superstar Anthony Davis. If he can only stay healthy as management has tried to surround him with a more talented supporting cast by adding Tyreke Evans from Sacramento, and a legitimate All Star in Jrue Holiday from Philly, could New Orleans make a playoff push? Probably, but not likely as they have a ton of intangibles to overcome like a lack of experience and team chemistry to name a few, if they are to emerge a Top 8 team out West. Adding another key cog in the draft may be the one piece that pushes them over the edge. Their time is definitely coming, just not yet.
After a combined 28 wins over the last 2 seasons, and as Michael Jordan continues to make puzzling personnel decisions, it would seem that the Bobcats would be a safe bet to have one of the worst records in the NBA again next season. But with arguably the most potent NBA Draft on the horizon next Summer, the Bobcats inexplicably have gotten better this offseason, drafting arguably the college ranks’ most skilled big man Cody Zeller and spending a fortune for good-but-not great free agent Al Jefferson to be their primary scorer. On the downside, you and I could probably defend better than the new frontcourt duo, along with Jordan bringing in yet another no-name generic head coach, means another probable 20+ win season in Charlotte.
The days of perennial playoff appearances led by Stockton and Malone are long gone, as is the majority of their starting frontcourt from last season. Al Jefferson and Paul Milsap were allowed to walk in free agency. Enes Kanter and Derric Favors will be given the chance to protect the paint, alongside imposing rookie Rudy Gobert, who registered the longest wingspan ever recorded at the Combine. They also cleared the backcourt for the emergence of former NCAA POY Trey Burke to run the show, but as evidence of his luke warm showing(8.8 ppg and 4 ast) in the Orlando Summer League, he realistically isn’t ready to lead just yet.
The Kings seemingly have been in rebuilding mode forever, a sentiment validated by the fact that they haven’t made the postseason since the ’05-’06 season. They’ve given up on former ROY Tyreke Evans, now with the Pelicans, and have drafted erratic, albeit talented rookie Ben McLemore from Kansas. Also gone is coach Keith Smart and in is another new head coach in form of Mike Malone. There’s alot of moving pieces in Sacramento, all built around talented, but unpredictable big man DeMarcus Cousins, which could be a recipe for disaster.
The Suns in the post Steve Nash era have quite a rebuild ahead of themselves. Starting anew under longtime Suns and Jazz sharpshooter Jeff Hornacek, they have made some significant moves towards the future, trading for stud PG Eric Bledsoe and veteran SG Caron Butler from the LA Clippers, as well as keeping legitimate NBA big man Marcin Gortat. From last season, they lost the core of their defense in Jared Dudley and Jermaine O’Neal, but drafted swingman Archie Goodwin and promising big man Alex Len as their starting center of the future. When your hopes are on the shoulders of the still developing Eric Bledsoe, surely the Sun won’t be setting anytime soon in Phoenix.
Even though the Magic have emerged the winner of the original Dwight Howard sweepstakes last Summer by acquiring several young pieces like Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless, Andrew Nicholson, and Tobias Harris, along with drafting Indiana standout Victor Oladipo at #2 this offseason, the roster still lacks experience and a go-to scorer. Despite adding longtime Piston Jason Maxiell, they continue to find ways to shed veteran contracts for future draft picks, a tried and true recipe for ending up in the Lottery.
While everyone knew it would end one day, many kept hoping that KG and The Truth would be able to will their way to another NBA crown despite having an aging and less than stellar supporting cast around them. We found out that even though they both are future Hall of Famers, the NBA is still a business, as both were shipped to Brooklyn along with 6th man Jason Terry. The Celtics don’t have much left besides Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, and a bright young coach in Brad Stevens. Behind a roster filled with new faces like rookie big Kelly Olynyk, Kris Humphries, and Marshon Brooks, Boston fans should get used to something they haven’t seen in quite some time…losing.
There’s no denying that when new GM Sam Hinkie pulled the trigger on trading arguably the team’s only blue chip player, All Star PG Jrue Holiday, to the Pelicans for highly touted shot blocker Nerlens Noel on draft day, that the 76ers have officially pushed the button on rebuilding from the ground up. They also brought in the inconsistent Michael Carter-Williams as the potential floor general of the future. He may turn out to be good, but as evidence of his luke warm showing in Summer League action, he has a long way to go. Now, as the only NBA team currently without a head coach and with a roster led by disappointing former #2 overall pick Evan Turner(gulp), as well as hard-working, blue collar-like Thaddeus Young, the Sixers will struggle to compete against even the mediocre teams in the ever improving Eastern Conference. How long before the boo birds reign down in Philly?