An NBA GM anonymously spoke with Jeff Goodman of ESPN the Magazine and talked about tanking. I love the timing of this story – the season begins tonight and tanking is already a topic because the 2014 draft is so strong. (My first 2014 mock draft came out in June.) Which NBA GM does this sound like?
First, you talk it over with ownership. I analyzed the team and told them what I wanted to do, the guys I wanted to get rid of and the guys with future value whom we wanted to keep. We obviously traded away some of our veteran guys who gave us a better chance of winning right now for future draft picks and young players. The owners didn’t want to tread water any more than I did. They’d rather go down to the bottom with the hope of coming up, so they signed off on it. It wasn’t a fight at all. In a different season, it might not make sense, but this draft certainly makes it more appealing.
You can eliminate Philadelphia, as the anonymous GM references the 76ers. (Unless it is the 76ers GM, who is simply trying to steer you away from his team.) The options:
* John Hammond, Milwaukee – Gave OJ Mayo 3-years, $24 million, but might have the least amount of talent (young or old) in the NBA.
* Ryan McDonough, Phoenix – Have potentially 4 1st round picks in 2014. Added no free agents in the offseason.
* Rob Hennigan, Orlando – Coming off a 20-win season, probably headed for another. Didn’t clean house enough, though.
* Rod Higgins, Charlotte – Gave Al Jefferson 3-years, $40 million in the offseason, but have little else.
* Kevin O’Connor, Utah – Definitely stuck in the middle in the West, but also just gave Derrick Favors a 4-year, $49 million deal.