Preface: I am not a fan of tanking in the least. I think it cheapens the sport and I wish it wasn't an option. However, recent events have forced me to re-examine my view of this.
Part A: No Tank You
Cleveland: is looking to acquire Andrew Bynum and other moves show this is a team that is interested in winning now. Their GM has announced that they do not want to be in the lottery any longer.
Boston: Has sent strong signals that they are not interested in tanking but rather retooling around Rondo/Bradley/Green/Sully/
Bucks: Not interested in tanking. They are looking to acquire Teague or keep Jennings. Signed OJ Mayo and they still have Ilyasova and Sanders to provide an inside out punch from the 4/5 position.
Atlanta: Does not appear interested in the tank is going out of its way to gain talent...and until they drop Horford no tank is happening there. Oh and the adding of Millsap suggests more second round playoff exits for Atlanta
Washington: Wall/Beal/Porter is a young group that will start climbing the ladder this season, tanking will not sit well with a soon to be extended John Wall.
Portland: Will be taking a significant stride this year as their PG takes another leap.
Hornets: with a healthy AD, and adding all Jrue Holiday no longer want a piece of this sweet sweet 14 draft class.
Detroit: When they signed Josh Smith it was a pretty good indication that they were done losing. They are now looking to climb the ladder as well
Charlotte: signing Al Jefferson has Charlotte primed to move into the dreaded 7 - 11 category, unless they follow that up with other moves.
Part B - Fuggedaboutit
The following teams are not even remotely interested in tanking
Lakers, Clippers, Houston, Miami, New York, Brooklyn, Indiana, Chicago, Golden State, Memphis, San Antonio, OKC, Minnesota.
Part C - This fence is making my balls hurt
The following are teams that see the writing on the wall and finally blow it up and tank.
Denver: They lost...Iggy, Masai, Karl...among others... They have the pieces right now to be another 7 - 11 team. I think they might be taking the view that the 7 - 11 is a ladder and not a well. could go either way.
Dallas: For the second straight year they have failed to sign a single big name. Dirk is getting older and Calderon is their big FA get. Word is they are still on the hunt, and so I will not place them in the tank train yet but they gotta pull off something and soon or else it becomes a very real possibility.
Part D - Organic Growth Year (We love that phrase don't we fellas?)
Orlando, with Tobias Harris, Oladipo, Nicholson, and Vuvecic they look like a promising team on the rise. I think they truly are looking to get better this year and they have four very good pieces to do it with. I expect them to be a 7 - 11 team as well (probably closer to 11) but where as Denver might be looking down a well, Orlando does appear to have a ladder in front of them.
Utah: Out of the shadow of Millsap and Jefferson, Kanter and Favors now have a big chance to shine. Much like Orlando though this is going to be a step up the ladder kind of year. I see them having about the same result as Portland did last year with a young talented PG learning (fucking up a lot) his way into the league. This will likely put them as high as ten and low as 12 in the west.
Sacramento: substitute names with Orlando and same deal. 7 - 11 will be a ladder for them. They have a serious head coach now and it they will competitive. I'd say they land right outside the playoffs in 10th
Part E - Enemy Armor Incoming! Tank Alert
Philly: The only team in the league that I can see is so obviously tanking it hurts, is Philadephia. Traded an All Star for a guy coming off ANOTHER ACL injury. He does have huge upside but likely won't start getting noticed until the end of the season.
Part F - I Seriously Don't Know What The Fuck They Are Doing
Phoenix - ?????????????? retankibuilding? tanktooling? getting worse through the draft? collecting assets? They got Eric Bledsoe to start...maybe...Channing Frye has heart issues, Marcin Gortat doesn't wanna be there. They picked up twins for fun. Kendall Marshall is now a 3rd sting lottery pick??? Someone else can take a crack at this one.
Which brings us to the Raptors....
PG - doesn't make team mates better
SG - Can't shoot 7 million dollar player making 10
SF - Can't shoot 12 million dollar player making 20
PF - No back to the basket low post threat - gotta backup wearing a starter hat.
C - well 1 out of 5 ain't bad!
Our ceiling with this current group is a second round playoff exit. Which I would love to watch. Believe me...it would be a thing of beauty to watch important games being won. However. If we are only truly racing one team to the bottom, and there are 5 guys that could raise you to another level... I hate to say it but I maybe, just maybe I could be talked into tanking.