May 16, 2018, 2:46 pmVlade DivacTeam, Sacramento Kings
Kings GM Vlade Divac said the Kings got the second pick because they didn't tank.
Divac could be right, but history says otherwise. The Suns who tanked hard and had the best chance to win the lottery (25 percent), did so. The tanking Hawks also landed the third overall pick. Over the last three years the team with best chance to win the lottery has done so: 2015 – Wolves, 2016 – Sixers and 2017 – Celtics via Nets. The Sixers are the biggest example of the effectiveness of tanking. From 2013-2016 they recorded win-loss totals of 19-63, 18-64, and 10-72. They also lost 28 consecutive games which is the longest streak in professional sports. Through this "process" the Sixers were able to draft Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Ben Simmons who recently led the team to the brink of the Eastern Conference Finals and now the Sixers have become a possible destination for marquee free agents such as LeBron James and Paul George. Adam Silver has already made changes to next year's lottery in order to reduce the incentive to tank. The worst three teams will each have a 14 percent chance to win the lottery instead of the 25, 20 and 15 percent model used this season. It should help some, but won't be fool proof with top picks still being incredibly valuable.