The Philadelphia 76ers are 0-12 on the young season and are undoubtably looking at another lottery pick. The 76ers do not seem to be too concerned about their terrible record though, and they shouldn’t be. The 76ers have figured out a system that they believe will eventually place them among the top teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. That system…tanking.
Tanking is not a word that fans want to talk about, at least not when its their team, but is tanking the smartest move for a bad team to make? The 76ers have known for the past few seasons that they are not a contender. So what did they do? During the 2012-2013 season the 76ers went 34-48. That mark was poor enough to give Philly the #11 pick in the following draft where the 76ers took their point guard of the future, Michael Carter-Williams. Since his rookie season, Carter-Williams has averaged 16 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds per game on a bad 76ers team. That same draft they traded Jrue Holiday to New Orleans for the rights to Nerlens Noel. Noel missed all of last season while recovering from injury, and his numbers may be modest thus far this season, but you can see that the potential is there. Last season Philly went 19-63. Yeah, you read that right. That many losses lead to the 76ers getting the #3(thank you lottery) pick where they were able to select another talented yet raw, and currently injured, Joel Embiid. The 7-footer from Cameroon projects to give the 76ers a franchise center to play next to their franchise point guard MCW and the sky high potential of Noel. Now I’m not suggesting that the players are not playing hard and giving their all. But I can’t say the same for the front office and coaching staff. But think forward a few months to the 2015 NBA draft. The 76ers look poised to add another top young player to round out their lineup. If the young players develop, Philadelphia could potentially be a playoff team as early as next season. The 76ers have been stockpiling young players for 3 years and they may be on the verge of putting it all together. And it was all made possible by tanking.