Tag Archives: tanking

The 2014 NBA Draft Diary

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The most anticipated draft in many years is finally here. Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, and Jabari Parker headline the draft. All three will almost certainly, barring injury, be perennial all-stars, although if Cleveland drafts Embiid, he’ll get hurt and be out of the league within three years.

It’s clear that God hates Cleveland. He only gave them the number one draft pick so they can screw it up and torture their fans even more.

After the top tier of Embiid (although he may have dropped out of it due to his injuries), Wiggins, and Parker, are Vonleh, Randle, Exum, Gordon and probably McDermott and Smart. It’s tough to narrow them down. There are so many good players up and down the draft that it almost doesn’t matter where you pick.

Evidence: after that second tier of five or six players and a third tier of eight or nine more, the next 35 players are all good players who can potentially be starters, if not more.

That’s why I love the Knicks-Mavericks trade for the Knicks so much. They unloaded Felton and the onerous contract of Chandler while getting the 34th and 51st picks. While that may not seem like that much, the 34th pick is essentially a first rounder except a lot cheaper, while the 51st pick is just as likely to result in a starter as any pick down to the 25th in this deep draft.

It’s nice to finally see a basketball team I cheer for (I’m a fan of both the Knicks and Nets) have a pick in the draft. It’s a feeling I’m not going have very much over the next few years.

I think it’s hilarious how the Nets are hosting the draft in Barclays Center while not having a single pick.

Anyways, my eleven year old sister is vaguely watching the draft with me, although she seems more likely to be preoccupied by the computer. If she ends up paying attention, she’ll probably focus on insulting the outrageous outfits of the draftees while I focus on insulting the picks. Still, it’ll be tough to do that. It’s so hard to insult picks when there are so many good players.

A big storyline I’ll be watching tonight is where Embiid goes. Who will take a huge risk by taking Embiid? It’s a massive reward if it pays off, but the GM that takes him will be betting their jobs on Embiid’s foot. That’s why I think that a team with multiple first round picks will take Embiid. Philadelphia probably won’t take him because they already have a center in Nerlens Noel. The only other team with multiple lottery picks is the Orlando Magic, who have the fourth and twelfth picks. That’s why, in my big prediction of the night, I predict that the Magic will take Embiid. It’ll be very surprising, but with the amount of risk involved, there’s no certainty. However, I think Orlando is the most likely to take Embiid, even if there’s only a 25% chance that they end up taking him.

Embiid’s injury has thrown this draft into flux. Originally, Embiid was supposed to go to the Cavs, the Bucks were going to get the hometown kid, Parker, and the Sixers would get who they tanked their season for, Wiggins. Then Orlando was going to take Dante Exum to put him in a dual guard role along with Victor Oladipo. Then the rest of the second tier would play out in some way to the next few teams and the next 35 picks could go in any random way.

Just a short explanation of a draft diary: a draft diary is pretty much just a running log of the draft. The time at which I wrote everything is recorded and, other than a small amount of editing, everything is the same as what I originally wrote.
7:26 Well, the draft diary is finally here! Hopefully it’ll become a tradition. I really like writing in this format.
7:27 I’ve been watching the pre-draft show for about twenty minutes and I’m already tired of that stupid NBA draft commercial that has the draftees taking selfies. It’s annoying, repetitive, and people are paying to see the players get drafted and play basketball, not look dumb and take selfies.
7:32 So does Cleveland take Embiid and run the risk of him being hurt? Do they go with Wiggins with the highest potential? Do they pick Parker, who can come in and help right away? No matter what they do, they’ll probably be wrong.
7:33 It’s telling how for years David Stern was booed on draft night, while Silver is cheered today. Stern was unpopular and overstayed his welcome, while Silver got rid of Donald Sterling, so it’s really no contest. Hopefully Silver can keep his popularity and continue to be an exceptional commissioner.
7:34 I like Silver’s speech about the Spurs and how the won a championship using players from up and down the draft, from Duncan at 1 all the way down to Manu at 57 and how he uses that to prove that great players can come from anywhere in the draft. That’s especially true today, when, as I said, there are so many good players throughout the draft.
7:39 The Cavs haven’t sent in their pick yet, despite their time running out. Maybe their strategy is just to not make a pick. They can’t be wrong if they don’t pick anyone.

7:41 The Cavaliers take….

7:41: ANDREW WIGGINS!

7:41 Parker just became one of the best players ever.

7:41 Wiggins just developed the beginnings for about five or six injuries that will prevent him from ever playing.

7:42 Sam Hinkie needs another eight boxes of tissues.

7:43 At least Wiggins is as close to a sure thing as you can get. Hopefully the Cavs won’t find a way to screw it up like they did with Anthony Bennett.

7:44 Wiggins’ suit is… interesting. It’s skeletal looking white flowers on a dark black suit. At least it doesn’t look like he’s bleeding like Jalen Rose’s draft day outfit did.

7:47 Milwaukee takes Jabari Parker, as expected. Not a big deal. It was what everyone expected, although it sucks for Philadelphia.

7:50 Jay Williams says “and now let’s go to his [Parker’s] father, Sonny”. I found that amusing. Just thought you should know.

7:51 It’s going to be very interesting what the Sixers do. Do they pick Embiid despite having another center or do they take Exum, Vonleh, Randle, McDermott, or someone else?

7:53 The Bucks have a sneaky good team. They have Larry Sanders, the Greek Freak, a couple of other decent players, and now Parker. As they have five good players, Milwaukee could easily be a playoff team next year in the garbage East.

7:53 WOW! The Sixers take Embiid! That’s crazy! They already have a center in Nerlens Noel, although I suppose they can have twin towers in the mold of Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon on the late-80s Rockets or the late-90s Spurs with Tim Duncan and David Robinson.

7:56 Philadelphia also has a sneaky good team. They have Embiid, small forward X at number 10, Noel, and MCW. That’s a really good, young team, assuming that all four players pan out. In addition to those four, Hinkie has five second rounders, from whom he should be able to gain a starter or two, along with some good bench players. Lord, the Sixers are going to be stacked in a couple of years.

7:58 ESPN goes to a graphic comparing Embiid to Greg Oden. It’s amusing because Oden had his career derailed by injuries. Given that Embiid is a huge injury risk, I can’t imagine why would ESPN jinx him like that.

7:59 Orlando takes…

7:59 Aaron Gordon?!?!? That’s very surprising. It was widely assumed that Orlando would take Exum, but apparently not.

8:01 I’m not entirely sure why they’d take Gordon over Exum. Exum and Smart are the two best two point guards in the draft, with a drop off to Zach LaVine, Elfrid Payton, and Tyler Ennis. Smart probably won’t be around by Orlando’s second first round pick, at number twelve. The forward positions (where Gordon plays) are stacked in this draft, and they probably could have gotten someone comparable to Gordon at number twelve like Doug McDermott, Rodney Hood, or Adreian Payne.

8:02 The commercial with Dante Exum in it cracked me up for some reason. He’s got a noticeable Australian accent which is hugely incongruous to his physical appearance. Did I manage to avoid seeming racist? I hope so.

8:06 The Jazz take Exum 5th overall, doing exactly what I wanted the Magic to do. Utah will play him and Trey Burke in a dual guard role like Phoenix did with Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic before Bledsoe got hurt.

8:12 The Celtics take Marcus Smart.

8:12 I don’t like that pick at all. They already have a good point guard in Rajon Rondo, although they could trade him away for draft picks. They also risk pissing Rondo off, as Rondo is sensitive about those sorts of things. I think they should have taken Julius Randle for an elite rebounder and someone who gets a lot of second-chance points.

8:16 I think the Lakers will take Randle now. Randle doesn’t play the same position as Kobe and he’ll get a lot of rebounds and second-chance points to help make up for when Kobe messes up.

8:17 Julius Randle to the Lakers!
8:17 It’s always nice when I’m right, especially when it’s for the right reasons. For all the reasons I just listed, I love that pick. With his rebounding, point scoring, and his ability to help clean up Kobe’s mistakes, I think it’s a great pick.

8:19 Of course, I may be biased because I watched a lot of him during Kentucky’s run to the NCAA Championship Game, but still, he’s really good. I bet on Kentucky multiple times and I always was pleased with how he always seemed to get the big rebound or how he always managed to fight through contact for a tough layup.

8:22 The Kings take Nik Stauskas, an incredible shooter. He’s a very good player, the best shooter in the class, and is capable of creating his own shot. It’s nice that Sacramento didn’t take a power forward to crowd up their frontcourt even more than it already is.

8:23 Stauskas’ suit is… interesting.

8:29 In their first act as the Hornets, Charlotte takes Noah Vonleh. I don’t mind that pick. He is, presumably, a good player, but his team didn’t make March Madness, so the question is how good he actually is. He should match up well with Al Jefferson to form an imposing Charlotte frontcourt.

8:32 Wow his hands are massive. I think I could fit two or three of my hands into one of his.

8:36 Elfrid Payton is taken by the Sixers at number ten.

8:36 I love his hair.

8:37 Payton is a point guard, but Philly already has a point guard in MCW. What they really needed was a small forward and, conveniently, there were a number of good small forwards waiting for them, like Doug McDermott, Rodney Hood, or Adreian Payne. Also, the skill sets of MCW and Payton overlap a lot. Both can’t really shoot, which is not a good thing when one of them is going to have to be moved to shooting guard. I don’t particularly like this pick.

8:38 It seems as though Payton is having a little bit of trouble putting on his 76ers hat over his massive hair.

8:40 It’s amusing how MCW is interviewed and how he’s desperately trying not to say anything insulting or something that seems selfish. Drafts are always rich with unintentional comedy.

8:42 Doug McDermott to the Nuggets. I like the pick, although I’d like it for almost any team. He’s really good at shooting, scoring, dribbling, creating his own shot, making tough shots, being the leading scorer on a team, and being the only scoring threat on his team. Still, a lot of other Nuggets do a lot of the same things that McDermott does, making his skill set a little redundant.

8:45 Why does it sound like, during his interview, McDermott is breaking up with his dad? He said things like “after a four year grind” and “it’ll be great to move on”? That sounds a lot like a breakup talk to me.

8:51 The Magic take Dario Saric, a power forward out of Croatia.

8:52 He’ll be in Turkey for at least the next couple of years, so they’re essentially stashing him in Europe until 2016.

8:53 I’m not entirely sure how good Saric actually is because he’s from Europe and I’ve never seen him play, although I don’t like the pick for two reasons. One, he’s from Europe, and, despite success stories (see: Parker, Tony), there’ve been more busts, like Darko Milicic, especially among those picked high in the draft. Two, the last notable NBA draftee that I can remember who was stashed overseas and has been in the NBA long enough to establish his true value was Ricky Rubio. He was hyped when he was taken by Minnesota, but after spending a couple of years in Spain, he never turned into the elite point guard he was expected to become. That’s what I fear will happen to Saric.

8:56 The Timberwolves take Zach LaVine, somehow managing to forget that they’ve already got Ricky Rubio. Although the Cavs, Clips, and Knicks will never be approached at the summit of dysfunctional NBA teams, Minnesota is at the top of the next tier. Their pick is just about as bad as it can get in this draft.

8:56 LaVine is a great player and a physical freak, but he’s raw and won’t be ready for a couple of years, so he won’t help Minnesota convince Kevin Love to stay.

9:00 I like the Exum commercials, mostly because I love hearing him talk.

9:01 The Sixers traded Payton to the Magic for Saric and a 2017 first rounder. That makes a lot more sense. The Magic get the point guard they were expected to take, while the Sixers can stash a player overseas as a reinforcement for their team in a couple of years while picking up another first rounder. I like that trade a lot for Philadelphia and don’t mind it for Orlando.

9:03 TJ Warren goes to the Suns. He’s an elite scorer, carried North Carolina State, and doesn’t interfere with the chemistry between Dragic and Bledsoe at the guard spots.

9:05 Wow, Warren talks really fast.

9:10 The Hawks take Adreian Payne. It’s a fine pick but I don’t have much to say about it other than saying that a jump-shooting big is always useful in the NBA.

9:15 A really touching moment when Silver and the NBA ‘select’ Isaiah Austin after he was expected to be selected in the first round but couldn’t, after his basketball career was ended by a genetic disorder.

9:19 The Bulls take Jusuf Nurkic, a center from Bosnia and Herzegovina. That’s part of a trade with the Nuggets in which Chicago gets McDermott and Denver gets the 16th and 19th picks. I like the trade for both teams. The Bulls needed a scorer and a small forward and because they gain cap room by not having to pay another first rounder. The Nuggets get an additional two players and give up a player who they couldn’t use. Presumably that’s why they picked McDermott in the first place, in preparation for a trade. That’s also the reason why Philly took Payton at 10, Orlando took Saric at 12, and, now, Chicago’s pick of Nurkic at 16.

9:25 The Celtics take James Young, a shooting guard out of Kentucky. He’s a great shooter and player, but this creates a logjam in the backcourt for the Celtics with Young, Smart, and Rondo all competing for two spots. Presumably there’s a trade in the works for Boston in which they send away one of those three players.

9:32 The Suns take Tyler Ennis. That’s another strange pick. Phoenix, as I’ve already said multiple times, have Bledsoe and Dragic at the guard spots. As the Raptors really wanted Ennis two picks later, I can only assume that there’s a trade in the works between the two teams because this pick makes no sense whatsoever for the Suns. If the Raptors end up trading for Ennis, then that means that they’ve almost certainly given up on resigning Kyle Lowry.

9:33 Canada is dominating this draft with Wiggins, Stauskas, and Ennis all hailing from the Great White North.

9:35 The Bulls take Gary Harris for the Nuggets at 19. This pick makes Denver’s trade earlier today for Arron Afflalo redundant as both players are shooting guards.

9:38 If Toronto doesn’t manage to trade for Ennis, then they can take Shabazz Napier at twenty.

9:41 Miami is apparently trying to trade up for Napier, which would be a good move for them to pick up a replacement for Mario Chalmers. Of course, all their plans are based on the assumption that LeBron comes back. If he doesn’t, Miami will be screwed even more than they already would have been.

9:44 Well, this was the first pick of some random player than no one has ever heard of: Bruno Caboclo from Brazil, going to the Raptors at number twenty. He’s so raw that, despite his incredible physical gifts, he’s at least four years away from actually playing. Why are they not trying to build on their successful 2014 season by improving their team for the coming season? This pick makes no sense to me.

9:51 With their last asset remaining for the Harden Hijacking, the Thunder take Mitch McGary. I like that pick a lot. McGary is really good and he allows the Thunder to shift Ibaka to the 5 to replace Perkins while sliding in McGary at the 4.

9:58 Memphis takes Jordan Adams from UCLA. He was never projected to go this high, and I’ve not read much about him. At the very least he’s a 2-guard, a position at which the Grizzlies desperately need help.

10:00 Well, it’s time to stop watching as I’ve got work tomorrow and I need my beauty sleep. It’s also funny because in the NFL Draft Diary (the first thing I posted on this blog) I also got through just 22 picks. Still, getting through more than three thousand words together isn’t too shabby. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed and I can’t wait to see how all the new players fit into the league and who excels and who bombs, mostly so I can make fun of them. Now, the attention will shift off of the draft and onto the World Cup and LeBron’s (and the rest of the stars’) impending free agency.

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The First Mailbag

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An article that I’ve always wanted to write is a mailbag, in which readers send in questions, comments, or insults, and in my column, I answer them. Of course, I wasn’t able to do that *cue dramatic music* UNTIL NOW!

I got a couple of questions from readers in the past few days, so I’ll answer them now. Here’s the first one:

So Mr Shshi, why don’t you comment on the possibility that teams that have runs of bad seasons have to reduce their ticket prices, at least for the cheapest tickets. Especially if the teams are getting public $$ as tax breaks. Thank you.

This is a good idea, albeit one that needs some alterations and one that has been advocated for before. Runs of bad seasons are OK. Taking a dump on your fans isn’t. The former is normal in the course of rebuilding. The latter is taking it too far.

Let’s tweak the idea a little bit to talk about just an individual season. A season is more than long enough to torture the fans. It shouldn’t be years before the league steps in to prevent a team from tormenting its fans.

Let’s swing through the four major leagues to see if this plan is reasonable and viable.

NFL- There are enough things that can go wrong in a season that, even when you’re trying to field a competitive team, you can get screwed by a big injury (think Peyton Manning with the Colts in 2011 when they went 2-14 or RGIII this past year when Washington went 3-13) or by your quarterback suddenly forgetting how to play football (think Matt Schaub with the Texans last year when they went 2-14). As this isn’t a team being purposefully bad, it’s them getting incredibly unlucky. It’s impossible to penalize a team for something outside of their control, so the idea won’t work with the NFL.

NHL- I don’t know as much about the NHL as the other three sports, but there’s a big problem with determining how bad a season is: the shootout point. How can you determine exactly how badly a team screwed over their team when they can earn points for losing?

MLB- MLB is a little more realistic for the idea offered up by the reader. The Astros have willfully destroyed their team over the last few seasons, opting instead to reload through the draft. While it hasn’t been pretty, they’re in good shape for 2015 and beyond with a number of good players on the way. However, in the process, the made their fans pay for horrible team after horrible team. That’s what the reader suggested teams have to pay for. However, other than them, only the Marlins (with the whole stadium and trading away star players fiasco) and Mets (says the depressed Mets fan) have really tormented their fans in the past few years, so there aren’t enough teams to make it a worthwhile proposition in MLB.

NBA- However, in the NBA, there are more than enough teams to make it a good rule change. By my count, seven teams willfully lost games at some point last year (Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Utah, Boston, Los Angeles, Orlando), one team was planning on losing games but when they won them instead, ended up deciding to go for it (Phoenix), and one team tried to win games but messed up to hilarious degrees (Milwaukee). That’s a lot of teams. Should the Sixers be charging full price for their tickets this year after a 26 game losing streak caused by ravaging their team? I can’t understand how that could possibly be okay to rip off your fans like that.

The problem is that sometimes, stuff happens (and it’s not stuff, but I try to keep it PG around here) and makes you lose games. Milwaukee did its best to win this year but still ended up losing the most games in the league. Should it be penalized for sucking but doing its’ best not to screw over its’ fans? I don’t know, but that’s why, to institute a plan like this, the NBA would need to make a “Don’t Screw Over Your Fans” Committee to decide whether or not a team deserves to be punished. The NBA has committees for almost everything else, so why not this too? Keeping fans interested and committed to their team seems like a worthy goal, and the only way to do that is to take money out of the owners’ pockets by making their ticket prices for the next year after their offense was committed lower. So, yes, dear reader, I think that that’s a great idea and one that the NBA should certainly consider implementing.

The second question I received in the past couple days was from someone who would prefer to remain anonymous, but who has asked me multiple times to write an article about fantasy baseball.  I hope this’ll suffice. Here’s what he said:

What techniques can I use to get a leg up on the competition in my fantasy baseball league?

Now, this is a good question. I’m currently in one fantasy baseball league and I use two methods for improving my team, one common, and one rare: streaming and stacking.

Streaming is often used but I’ll explain it here anyways just so we’re all on the same page. Streaming when one picks up a player (generally a pitcher) for a specific matchup, before dropping them the next day, in order to add another pitcher for another matchup. This allows one to accrue certain stats such as innings pitched, wins, and strikeouts, in order to more easily win your matchup.

The way I generally use streaming is by choosing one pitcher, every day, that I like. I then drop my worst pitcher (or a hitter if I have an extra one) and pick up the new pitcher. Still, I have an imaginary line that I use to help me decide who’s able to be dropped and who I should keep under all circumstances. As an example, you wouldn’t drop Clayton Kershaw to pick up Charlie Morton, would you?

When you have too many good pitchers, it becomes impossible to stream, which is why, in my league, I’ve been trying to trade away good pitchers to create an extra roster spot or two for streaming.

While streaming is almost always used for pitching, stacking is exclusively for hitting.

Stacking is when you have a bunch of hitters from the same team on your team. On my team, I’ve been stacking the Athletics. I have John Jaso, Derek Norris, Brandon Moss, and Josh Donaldson, and I’ve been trying to trade for Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes.   

Why is stacking a good thing to use? Well, let’s say that John Jaso scores a run. Who’s likely to have knocked him in? One of Moss, Donaldson, or Norris! See, the idea behind stacking (which is an idea I came up with by myself) is that it magnifies each individual positive occurrence that happens to a team.

So far, it’s worked very well for me, and hopefully work for you too. The only pitfall is stacking a team like the Mets who are incapable of scoring more than three runs more than once a week. Aside from that, it’s great! Now I’ll be back in a few minutes. I just need to go mourn the Mets of my childhood. *sniffles*

Back! Anyways, so I have a lot more rules and techniques that I utilize to win at fantasy baseball, but a master has to keep his best secrets. Also, most of the people in the league with me are probably reading this, and I kinda want to make sure that I keep in advantage over them so I can win.

If you want to be in the next mailbag, email me at sushi.krox@gmail.com with a question. Make the subject line “SushiOnSports Question” and provide me with a name (or anonymous) and I may answer your question in the next mailbag. Hope you enjoyed!

 

The Lottery and the Cavaliers

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Well, I was in the middle of writing the Week In Review column about the lottery when I realized that I had enough to say that I needed to devote a whole column to expressing my thoughts on the lottery. Hope you enjoy!

The Cavs won the lottery. This has a lot of ripples, like tossing a boulder into a small pond. Most relevant to me, it’s going to be hard for me to write about how God hates Cleveland anymore now that they’ve won three lotteries in four years. Of course, the only year in the last year that they didn’t win the lottery had Anthony Davis as the top pick, the last ‘sure thing’ superstar center in the draft since 2008 when Greg Oden was the presumptive 1st overall pick (although we all know how that panned out) so maybe God STILL hates Cleveland. We can always hope. Or, maybe, three first overall picks in four years may be compensation from the Basketball Gods for LeBron leaving, and ripping their hearts out in the process. This is all waaay too confusing. Let’s hold off on a decision to make sure that Cavs don’t screw it up, either by taking Embiid and his back problems flaring up or taking a point guard like Dante Exum while somehow forgetting that they’ve already got an all-star point guard (see: Irving, Kyrie). Don’t count out the Cavs from doing something stupid like that, they’re capable of doing anything. They’re absolutely crazy.

 

Should the Cavs should be rewarded with the first overall pick? They’re incompetent and horribly run, but at least they tried to win this year. They sent picks and Andrew Bynum to Chicago for Luol Deng and they sent a couple of second rounders to Philly for Spencer Hawes, although that evidently didn’t work out too well. The question is whether or not the trying hard outweighs the fact that the Cavaliers are a dysfunctional organization.

 

This conundrum also applies to the Suns, Bucks, and Bobcats—wait, Hornets. (Quick tangent: As far as I can tell, the whole point of a team’s name is to sound strong and powerful. That’s why you see names like the Giants or the Kings throughout sports. I’ve always thought it amusing when teams use names like the Hornets—am I supposed to be intimidated by a bug? Being the Bobcats was a lot better and moving down the scale-of-scary-names was not a great idea. At least they weren’t as bad as New Orleans, who originally had the name of Hornets and then decided to become the Pelicans.  Wow, I’m scared. I suppose that tangent wasn’t all that quick, but whatever.) We’ll be getting to the Hornets in a bit but I’ll quickly go through the Suns and Bucks.

 

First, Milwaukee. They tried to win this year and never officially started tanking, but they were led by Herb Kohl who just wanted to make the playoffs. While they wanted to do well, they didn’t exactly go the right way about doing so. Of course, the best thing for them to do to be good is to tank (which is what they ended up unwittingly doing) just showing how weird it is to be in a league in which eight teams were aiming to willfully throw their seasons away in order to get better in the long run and how that strategy actually makes sense.

 

Now for Phoenix. Phoenix was planning on throwing away their season, but when they were unexpectedly good at the start of the year, the rolled with it and finished with 48 wins which would have made them the three seed in the Eastern Conference. Of course, in the West, they missed the playoffs and ended up in the lottery anyway. How are they not being rewarded for trying their best? To solve this problem, here’s what I propose: a complete change of the lottery system.

 

It’s always great when a borderline good team manages to acquire a transcendent player to turn them into a very good team. Of course, with the lottery, that never actually happens. Why not change the lottery around? Clearly, you can’t have tanking, nor can you have the elite teams getting even better, so here’s my proposal: You have the same lottery format, but with switched odds. So, this year, Phoenix would have had a 25% shot at the #1 pick. You can’t tell me that it wouldn’t be awesome to see Wiggins or Embiid tearing up the NBA with the Suns next year. Teams couldn’t purposely lose games because they’d be destroying their hopes for the playoffs AND for the lottery. The only potential downside is an eight seed tanking out of their spot for a good shot at the 1 pick, but that’s okay for three reasons: One, rather than having eight teams tanking, we’d only have, at most, two or three. Two, teams attempt to tank out of the playoffs to get into the lottery anwyay. This year the Hawks did their best to get out of the playoffs but they were unable to, due to the incompetence of the Knicks and Cavs. Three, it’d be fine with me if we were improving teams that were already half-decent. Why aren’t we doing this? Get Silver on the line!

 

The Cavs moving up to number one overall is quite bad for the Pistons as they had a top eight protected pick that they owed to Charlotte in the Ben Gordon for Corey Maggette bad contract swap. When the lottery began, Detroit was in the 8th spot, but when Cleveland moved ahead of them, they moved down to the 9th pick, meaning that they had to send it away to Charlotte. It means that the Pistons won’t have a draft pick in Steve Van Gundy’s first year, something that dampens the excitement that he brought to their organization. On the flip side, the Bobcats are an up-and-coming team and, after adding a high draft pick, they have a chance to get even better. That’s how the lottery SHOULD be, improving teams that are genuinely attempting to get better. Who would rather see a young star having his growth stunted by having to carry a crappy team by himself over a team that’s already pretty good getting two high-ish picks and reinforcements. For me, at least, it’s no contest. Charlotte now, depending on how well they pick, have a chance to improve enough to get the 4th or 5th seed, maybe even the 3rd seed (and if LeBron leaves Miami to go to the West, the two seed). Hell, if Toronto can get the 3 seed, certainly Charlotte with a couple of new, very good, rookies can too.

 

Other ripples: after destroying its team and MCW’s good habits, the 76ers only have the third overall pick and the tenth overall pick, which they got from New Orleans in the Nerlens Noel and top 5 protected pick for Jrue Holiday robbery—I mean trade. The Cavs moving up affected the Sixers a lot as they moved from the potential 2nd overall and 9th overall to 3rd and 10th.  Kind of sucks for the Sixers and their fans when after ravaging their team and throwing away a season they only get the 3rd pick. It’s great for everyone else though: it shows that tanking doesn’t result in a guaranteed superstar and that the lottery works (although that’s debatable after the Cavs winning three times in four years). Other than that, there’s all the aforementioned story lines in play from before.

 

Hope you enjoyed and I can’t wait until the draft (I think I’ll even write a running diary for that too).