Mid-October is not synonymous with the NBA draft. Basketball fans are usually starting to notice the NBA preseason and getting ready for the start of college ball.
But unlike past years, there has been a greater focus on the 2014 NBA draft and the overwhelming star power it has. That is why “Tankapalooza” is already part of basketball lexicon.
For a long time, this next draft has been called the Andrew Wiggins Lottery, and one year prior to the 2014 draft, the tanking began when the Philadelphia 76ers unloaded Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for the draft rights to Nerlens Noel and the Pelicans’ first-round pick, which is top-five protected.
While the Sixers were the first team to be accused of tanking this season, they will not be the last.
For anyone in denial about NBA teams tanking, just think back to the 2002-2003 season, when the Cleveland Cavaliers were doing everything they could to land LeBron James. Coincidentally, some compare Wiggins to James in his ability and potential franchise-altering impact.
Ultimately, there will be 14 teams whose fate will be decided by ping-pong balls. Here, as we sit in late October, is how I see the lottery going: