Lakers Nation Sound Off: Should The Lakers Tank?



    Written By: Deepak Mangwani

    Should the Lakers tank? Understandably so, you won’t find many fans that tell you they shouldn’t. Coming into the season, I was completely opposed to the idea of tanking. I kept telling people that the Lakers don’t tank and the Lakers don’t rebuild like other franchises have to. As the season has progressed and everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong, I still don’t think the decision to tank is as clear-cut as others are making it out to be.

    The decision to tank or not to tank for the Lakers starts and ends with Kobe Bryant. The best way to insure the Lakers lose as many games as possible would be to somehow convince Kobe to sit out. As we all know, Kobe is not going to do that and we fans shouldn’t want him to either. First of all, some of the games this season have been unbearable to watch — the injuries have made them that way. Secondly, in my opinion, it is more important for Kobe to come back and show everyone that he can still play at a high level — only to prove to free agents that they would not be making a mistake in coming to LA this upcoming summer or the next.

    It would be great to somehow end up with the next Kobe Bryant, Lebron James or Kevin Durant through the draft, but the odds of that happening are extremely low. It is a big gamble to bank on a high draft pick regardless of how stacked the incoming draft class is. Although the Lakers’ situation is different because the incoming rookie would come in to play second fiddle to Kobe or maybe even third if the Lakers sign a big name free agent, would big name free agents want to sign with the team without knowing what level Kobe will come back at? Or just to play with a rookie?

    In my mind, a scenario where we fail to make the playoffs, but come close due to Kobe’s strong play is better than tanking. If the incoming draft class is as deep as they say it is, then a 10-14 pick might turn out to be the role player we need to play alongside Kobe and any free agents we sign this summer. Additionally, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lakers trade a potential top-10 pick to form a championship contender before Kobe’s contract runs out.
    ICYMI: Pau Gasol had this to say about the rivalry with the Clippers.

    • Phil

      Hubbard: Here’s why the Lakers will get Andrew Wiggins

      By Jan Hubbard

      January 11, 2014 at 2:00 PM

      While Laker haters throughout the NBA are able to enjoy the struggles of one of the two most successful franchises in the league, they perhaps have overlooked the irony of the Lakers’ misfortune.

      It seems quite evident what is going to happen. The Lakers are not going to make the playoffs and will be in the draft lottery. Regardless of how few chances they have in the lottery, they’re going to win it.

      And Andrew Wiggins is going to be a Laker.

      Book it.

      Yes, I realize the Celtics are also lottery-bound, and they still have a 17-16 lead over the Lakers in championships. If there is magic in the lottery, the Celtics normally would be logical recipients.

      But there is a big difference in the current franchises. This year, the Celtics have embraced rebuilding, trading their older stars and doing it without much concern for competition. They had no problem shipping Kevin Garnett and should-have-been-Celtic-for-life Paul Pierce to division foe Brooklyn, ideally making the Nets a better team and enhancing their own chances of being in the lottery.

      The Nets have been disappointing enough — unless we are currently seeing a turnaround (beating Oklahoma City, red-hot Golden State and Miami in two OTs was impressive) that can be sustained — to subvert the Celtics’ plan, but there was never any doubt what the Celtics were trying to do.

      (And we should keep in mind there is a not-so-fine line between “rebuilding” and “tanking.”)

      The Lakers were having none of that. Even though Kobe Bryant was recuperating from a serious Achilles tendon injury at the beginning of the season, he was going to return at some point. And a team with Kobe is not one interested in the lottery.

      So the Lakers’ quest for Wiggins was purer. They did not make the decision to be bad; they were victims of bad luck. So I am of the opinion that because of that, they will be rewarded.

      (I realize some astute reader will point out that one situation has nothing to do with the other. Such people don’t understand the concept of karma.)

      There is a secondary bonus for Lakers fans because Wiggins in purple and gold will severely irritate the rest of the league. And charges of tampering will be the strongest since the Patrick Ewing frozen/bent envelope controversy in 1985.

      Lakers get Wiggins? Didn’t David Stern once say the ideal NBA Finals would be Lakers vs. Lakers? Got to be a setup.

      If you look at the history of the Lakers, however, good luck happens. In 1974, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, playing for Milwaukee at the time, told the Bucks the city did not fit his cultural needs and he wanted be traded to the Knicks or Lakers. He could have easily returned to his birthplace in New York.

      The Lakers got him.

      In 1976, the New Orleans Jazz signed Lakers free agent guard Gail Goodrich. In a deal that included six draft picks, the Lakers received as compensation the Jazz’s 1979 first-round choice, which turned out to be Magic Johnson.

      Tell me the basketball gods weren’t looking out for the Lakers.

      One of the many positives Johnson produced for the Lakers was the freedom to look ahead and made decisions for the future of the franchise. So in 1980, they traded Don Ford (career average: 6.4 points) and their unneeded 1980 first-round pick to Cleveland for a 1982 first-rounder and Butch Lee.

      The Cavaliers used the pick to draft Chad Kinch (2.9 career average, died of HIV).

      The Lakers got James Worthy.

      (Even then in Cleveland, the basketball gods were cruel.)

      (FYI: LeBron was born two years after the Worthy draft.)

      On July 11, 1996, the Lakers traded center Vlade Divac to Charlotte for Bryant, who had been drafted by the Hornets a few weeks earlier. Exactly seven days later, the Lakers signed free agent Shaquille O’Neal and did not have to give up any players.

      And I should mention the Wilt Chamberlain deal in 1968, when the Lakers acquired him from the 76ers for Archie Clark, Jerry Chambers and Darrell Imhoff. Wilt, however, was 32 when the next season began and was at the end of his career. The others were at the beginning.

      So to review, over the years and not including Wilt, the Lakers have been involved in deals that included losing Gail Goodrich, Elmore Smith, Brian Winters, Junior Bridgeman, David Meyers, someone named Essie Hollis, Jack Givens and Vlade Divac.

      In return, they received Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

      Are they a favored nation, or what?

      The Lakers currently have the third-worst record in the West, but the glut of bad teams in the East will prevent them from accumulating many lottery chances. Plus Steve Nash is expected back at the end of the month, which should mean another win or two.

      But luck has struck the lottery before and, oddly, Cleveland is an example. In 2011, the Cavs had the most lottery chances but also had the rights to the Clippers’ No. 1 pick. The Clippers had only the eighth-most chances, but theirs was the number combination that came up, and the Cavs got Kyrie Irving.

      The team with the worst record in the lottery gets 250 of 1,000 chances at the No. 1 pick. After that, the number of chances in order are 199, 156, 119, 88, 63, 36, 35, 17, 11, 8, 7, 6 and 5.

      If the lottery were held today, the Lakers would have either 17 or 11 chances to win. The odds would be long, but, well, we’ve covered that.

      The only thing that makes me think the Lakers’ luck – or destiny if you prefer – will be any different is because Dr. Jerry Buss is no longer with us. With him, of course, the famous words of baseball pioneer Branch Rickey rang true.

      Luck is the residue of design.

      Still, the Lakers have had their share of luck and the situation is perfect for them. As Kobe prepares to play his last few years, Wiggins arrives to carry on the legacy. It’s a story made for Hollywood, and the Lakers play only a few miles from there.

      Yes, the Lakers are struggling this year. But their reward will be Andrew Wiggins.

      Book it

      • kobe24

        I think we can replace Andrew Wiggins with -> Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid or even a guy like Marcus smart.

        Any of the top 5 is the real deal

        • LakeShow

          And Dante Exum

    • Luther

      Hell ya tank the season.It’s done already.

    • Phil

      Yes Lakers suck at defense and injuries make this the worst team in the NBA.

    • LakeShow

      Should? They are tanking!

      Lakers have no choice for many reasons: –

      1. CBA – it’s created to help small market teams. It’s hard to sign any top players when the rule limits you from doing so even if you are big market team. And it’s even harder to sign young talented players too.

      2. Limited tradeable assets – too many old players with big contracts. Most of Lakers young players are either D-League or not wanted by other teams. None of them have the potential to become an all-star.

      3. No talents coming – LeBron is not coming. Carmelo can’t even carry his own team and he is too selfish. Do you really think it’s a good idea to put him and Kobe in a same team? Both will be shot jacking with no defense. Not to forget, big contracts too. Most of the young players are RFAs and Cavs probably going to offer big contract to Luol Deng. So, nobody’s coming!

      4. Stacked draft – With many talented players in 2014 draft and the fact that Lakers owned their first round pick. They can’t afford to waste the opportunity to sign a young player who going to carry the team after Kobe retires. Lakers already missed out in 2003 draft, they can’t wait for another decade to sign a young franchise player.

      5. Rebuilding – Lakers need to rebuild now if they want to attract top FAs like Kevin Love, Westbrook or even Durant. Nobody want to play for an old team. If Lakers sacrifice this year, they will have a young team consist of a draft player + Kendall Marshall + Xavier Henry + Ryan Kaelly + Robert Sacre. Granted they are not a top players but Marshall and Henry have potential to become a good players. If MDA can find gems like them, I’m sure he can find more.

    • papi

      This is one worst season the lakers going on, the first thing the owner and lakers corporation need to do is waive the players , all this players they don’t care about lakers respect this players are so guys we no experience they thing to win 2 or few games is to be a winners , no rookies this guy’s they don’t have the heart for the lakers nations they need to trade players and coaches too.

    • Jarvis

      It’s a 2 or even 3yr rebuild. Hopefully get a top 6 or better draft pick this July to start with, then whatever cap room is there I will NOT spend on Melo. Maybe get some more complementary players on one year deals, because you want cap room after next season when I think Kevin Love, Rondo, and Aldridge hit the market. Lets say they get Love and pairs him with whoever they draft, then the following offseason Kobe’s contract is off the books (unless they sign him to another 20mil extension), and I think in that same offseason, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are available. Laker fans just have swallow their prides and take the lumps and beatdowns that will be coming for 2-3yrs, because as bad as it is now…if they play their cards right, they could have one hell of a team come 2015-2016.

      • kobe24

        Agreed, although I think Lakers will be a .500 team next season (if they get a top 5 draft pick and if its not a bust). And then 2015 FA go for Kevin love

        Kobe + top 5 draft pick (lets hope) + Kevin Love will be deadly as long as there are no freaking injuries

    • Marty Susman

      Tank, hell just keep playing like they are, that’s tanking. When Gasol & Blake leave for draft picks we will have less wins then we do now, A GREAT THING….

    • Jeff

      If a contender like say the Pacers or the Thunder or what not comes to the Lakers in Feb and is willing to give a 1st rd pick for Steve Blake (who was playing very well before the injury), I will make that deal. It will cost us some wins, but if it leads to another solid young talent to go along with the Lottery pick we will have, so be it. It’s time to build for the future and it has to start now.

    • Larry L.

      Yes Tanking for Andrew Wiggins.

    • Edward

      Mike Dantoni your coach? Then you gon tank.

    • Nalin Shukla

      We’re tanking…not by choice

    • hookedonnews

      Not sure why this subject keeps coming up. No, the Lakers are not going to tank. If they don’t get some of their players back from injury soon they won’t have to, but no one in the Lakers organization or on the team has any intention of tanking (as they’ve said repeatedly).

    • borsalino12

      Of course, they have to tank.Do you guys remember when was the last time, when the Lakers got chance for a lottery pick? Probably not. A.Bynum selection as # 10 pick was the best chance for us in more than decade. Now, we have the chance to draft a franchise player, who eventually can be our main asset for the future.Now is the time to do that and we would not miss it.