Now is the time for tanking.
If a team is not headed to the playoffs — say, hypothetically, the New Jersey Nets — the future of the franchise is better served by getting the best NBA lottery odds it can. That’s no guarantee of a John Wall, but just like at the blackjack table you play the odds.
“The way we’re playing, I think there’s a chance we can catch Minnesota,” said Brook Lopez, who might have had the best week of his career in leading the Nets to a 3-1 record. “You’ve got to look to achieve something.”
“You can ask anybody on the team: We don’t care about that,” Courtney Lee said. “We’re on the team this year. We’re trying to win as many as possible. Whatever happens, happens. Just because you have the worst record doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get the first pick. We’ll be around that area, so whatever happens in the draft happens.
“If we can catch them and not finish last in the NBA that would be great.”
You know why they could potentially catch Minnesota? Because the Timberwolves are in a freefall. They are doing everything they can to get the top pick so that David Kahn can draft another point guard.
The team with the worst record in the NBA has a 25 percent chance of winning the lottery. Second worst is 17.8 percent. That’s a pretty big jump when we’re talking a potential franchise player like Wall.
Which is why this is tanking season. And should be in New Jersey.