Dispatches from the Tank: Familiar foes Jazz, Lakers battle in unfamiliar territory

Published: Friday, March 14 2014 11:53 a.m. MDT

Ariana Torrey, Deseret News graphic

With one of the most promising groups of college basketball players in recent memory preparing to enter the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft, general managers, owners, and fans around the league are already licking their lips with excitement.

With sky-high potential talents like Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Marcus Smart headlining the possible lottery picks, NBA teams will do just about anything for an opportunity at securing the next Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or LeBron James — even tank the season away.

Now tanking is a generally frowned upon concept among the league, and justifiably so. The process is simple; a team will purposely lose games so that it can have a higher chance at landing a lottery pick and capture one of the best players in the upcoming draft.

Tanking is a tactic many believe the San Antonio Spurs used in the 1996-97 season to secure Tim Duncan in the draft. If the Spurs are indeed guilty of purposely losing games to get a high pick, the move sure paid off, as Duncan was able to bring four NBA championships to San Antonio.

While many teams can shamelessly lose game after game purposely without batting an eye, other teams try and uphold some sort of reputation, and by setting their roster and coaches up to fail, can lose games while still making an effort to win. In order to avoid the majority of criticism for tanking to get a high draft pick, teams must be subtle about the way they go about it.

There are several teams this NBA season that are currently in the process of tanking, whether they know it or not. As the anticipation of the NBA Draft draws nearer, and the season starts to come to a close, teams will get more and more desperate.

With that being said, here are the top teams that are either intentionally or unintentionally tanking, and how they are going about it.

For additional NBA and sports updates, follow Mitch Kunzler on Twitter at @MitchKunzler.

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Draft dumbie
Farmington, UT

The Knicks have traded away their 2014 draft pick to the Denver Nuggets, so tanking would not help them. They are not trying to tank--but like the Bucks and the Kings are just terrible, anyway.

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