NBA teams choosing to “rebuild” in hopes of high draft picks

Suchith Vuppala

Ever since the current NBA draft lottery system was implemented in 1985, there have been a sizable number of teams tanking the season in hopes of drafting a franchise savior. This interesting philosophy, which has made its way through the league, has culminated with the result that nearly one-third of the NBA will tank the upcoming 2013-2014 season in hopes of getting a top 10 pick in the most top-heavy draft class since 2003 at the end of the season.

Specifically, players such as 18-year-old phenom Andrew Wiggins — the biggest price in the draft — make draft picks paramount for 2014.

Mark Cuban, the vocal owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said it is important to consider the number of teams with this strategy. In his analysis, Cuban ascertained the importance of trend following. If a lot of teams in the league are tanking, then the chances of a successful result from tanking drop dramatically. But if only a few teams pursue that strategy, the chances are that they will end up with a high pick in the draft.

Despite many teams enthusiastically denying that they are tanking the season — the Boston Celtics most notably — it is evident that a lot of teams are at least choosing to "rebuild" this year. Unfortunately, that might make for a tough time if nearly one-third of the league is striving for that worst spot.