So, let's see. If we tank this year and pick, say Wiggins or Parker ... we can look forward to a title somewhere around ... 2024?
I have a better idea. How about we trade our picks and filler for a couple of studs and become relevant immediately?
I think this perception has two flaws. Within the current debate.
1) We don't know that the trades are out there. Which 'studs' are on the block, or are likely to be in that position in the offseason? Really the guys who come to mind are Hayward, Bledsoe, and Monroe, and that's only if the Jazz, Pistons, or Suns balk at paying them. Potentially too Aldridge, Millsap, and Smith, but that's complete speculation with nothing to back it up..not that Hayward etc aren't the same thing. Surely, this can and likely will change, but who knows what it will look like at the break, or in the offseason?
2) Building off of #1, wouldn't we as a team be in a much better bargaining position if we did in fact tank the season and acquire a high level draft pick with which to trade? Acknowledging the riskiness of the lottery and wanting to trade picks for high level established players is not at all a reason not to tank/rebuild/strategically develop your younger players. Ask the 2008 Celtics.
You assert that my strategy is flawed because of (1) "uncertainty" (in what may or may not be available in the trade market) and yet want to gamble on (2) the uncertainties of the draft lottery?
First off, on (1) ultimately, that is the job of GMs to both obfuscate about their own players and to know about such information on other team's players. Don't confuse what little we layman know about who is available with what Danny may know. Further, if there is no opportunity right now, there will be at some point within the next year or two (long before it normally takes to build to title contention through the draft) because turnover and transition is part of the NBA. Finally, upon the availability of a deal, the decision to act on it is far more deterministic than relying on the lottery. The players involved will have been vetted and not potential draft busts.
On (2) the only way to guarantee a 'high level' draft pick is to have one of the absolute worst records. What is your criteria for a 'high level' draft pick?
Top 10? Then you MUST have at least the 7th worst record because otherwise you may end up outside the top 10.
Top 5? Similarly, the only way to guarantee you get a top 5 pick is to have one of the TWO worst records.
Let me ask you: Given what you have seen of this team, sitting here with it's 4-5 record after 9 games, do you think this could end up with one of the TWO worst records?
Do you think it will end up with one of the 7th worst?
Suppose you answer "yes" to the latter. Let's say we tank and end up with the 7th worst record.
With the 7th worst record, you still have a chance of picking as low as 10th.
Last year, we ended up with the 13 pick (by way of trade).
And we didn't tank. We made the playoffs. We didn't last long. But the team got to realize the big bump in revenues associated with playing playoff games. And still ended up with a pretty good pick.
How much is the difference between a 10th and 13th pick worth? Is it worth giving up a shot at the playoffs (and the revenues)?
And I didn't even touch the 'uncertainty' involved with whether a player, once picked, will be a success or not.
A lot of 'pro-tanking' folks like to note that almost every title team had at least one "top 3" drafted superstar on it. What they fail to then notice is that in all but a couple of cases that player was NOT drafted by the team that they won the title on.
This tells us that the way most title teams have been built is by _acquiring_ that 'top 3' talent later (via trade or FA), well after he was drafted by some other team. By then, you know who he is. He is not a ping pong ball. He has proven whether he can play in the NBA.