For about a year, NBA teams have been making trades to get into the 2014 NBA draft lottery because everyone thinks the collection of talent coming out of college could be the best since 2003. Teams knew the 2013 draft was devoid of talent, so the smart ones traded down – or long ago moved out – and prepared for 2014. The end result?
The East is as bad as it has ever been, with only two teams (Indiana and Miami) that have winning records, one team that lost its star player and could get blown up (Chicago) and two massive underachievers (New York and Brooklyn).
Almost everyone – well, not New York – is planning for the future. Want to call it tanking? I’m cool with that.
“There’s no player that’s out there on the horizon that’s a Tim Duncan or a LeBron James,” the Hall of Fame Syracuse coach told SNY.tv by phone Thursday. “I’ve seen all these guys play. I think they’re very talented players. They’re not that kind of player. They’re not transcendent players that are gonna make your franchise into a 10-12-15-year winning franchise because you’re there. I don’t see that.”
So everyone in the NBA is jockeying to get into the lottery, and Jim Boeheim thinks all those teams have it wrong, they’re wasting their time.
Who said anything about Duncan or LeBron? Those are two of the 10 greatest players in the history of the sport. Wake up, Jim – the Warriors tanked two years ago just to keep a lottery pick; it ended up being Harrison Barnes, who is already a crucial player for Golden State. Tanking makes sense.
Given the players who have gone in the Top 5 the last couple years – Anthony Bennett at one looks like a disaster so far; Thomas Robinson went 5th in 2012 and he’s already been traded twice, Dion Waiters went 4th in 2012 and the Cavs are looking to trade him; I could go on – the 2014 draft is loaded, and teams like Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Utah, Toronto are positioning themselves well for the future.
A raw, athletic 7-footer with upside? A do-it-all point guard who improved his shot? A Blake Griffin-type dunking machine? An explosive, long, 18-year-old from Australia? Those four fanbases above are all giddy about the draft. At least a dozen other teams wish they were in the mix for a Top 5 pick instead of getting bounced in the 1st round.
Try again, Jim.