Sports Out West

The NBA conundrum: To tank or not to tank in 2013-14?

Andrew Wiggins

This year’s NBA Draft was known for two things: insanity and a lack of talent in the player pool. Next year’s draft, however, is already labeled as one of the better ones.

Sports Illustrated, Slam magazine, and ESPN collectively covered two of the biggest names in the potential draft. Canada’s Andrew Wiggins and USA’s Jabari Parker highlight a class that should be explosive from pick one.

Wiggins, for one, is already being labeled as the best high school prospect since the “King,” LeBron James. The praise is not all hype. Wiggins has game-changing athleticism, playmaking, and intelligence at the small forward position. He’s currently committed to the Kansas Jayhawks.

For Parker, he’s leveled off a bit since the big Slam magazine cover. He’s a Duke Blue Devil, small forward, and a potential top-3 pick. He’s a few steps behind Wiggins, but it’s the same as comparing Carmelo Anthony to James.

The rest of pack? Julius Randle and Andrew Harrison, Kentucky and lottery bound, and non-freshmen, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart and Michigan’s Mitch McGary. That list, alone, is worth drooling over.

It seems the NBA is already doing that.

That’s unsettling news. If there is already talk and rumblings about a tanked season, where is the excitement in the NBA? For fans and the cities involved? It’s a travesty to make this a race to next year.

Unlike the 2002 Cleveland Cavaliers, when they won the James’ lottery, they kept their franchise players. Although the Cavs had little talent in Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Ricky Davis, and Carlos Boozer, there was no spring cleaning. In this offseason, the Celtics already took out franchise mainstay, Paul Pierce, and traded Kevin Garnett and coach Doc Rivers.

The Charlotte Bobcats are still rebuilding. The Philadelphia 76ers traded their best player, Jrue Holiday, for a pair of athletic projects in Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams. The Orlando Magic made few moves aside from drafting Victor Oladipo. Only the Phoenix Suns made a big splash with the trade to get Eric Bledsoe to pair with Goran Dragic (another story all together).

All the teams involved made the intention clear — 2013-14 is not on their schedule — and it’s a shame.

Here’s what all the hoopla’s about: 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is a sports and video game journalist born and raised in Southern California. Great at finding the important detail. He has written for publications like IGN.com, 1UP.com, Rotowire.com, and SBNation.

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