Should LA Lakers Tank 2014-15 Season?

Tanking is everywhere in the NBA.

Last season, it was in Tinseltown, where the Los Angeles Lakers quickly came to realize that Kobe Bryant wouldn't turn Dwight Howard's departure into instant gains.

General manager Mitch Kupchak and friends would never cop to it, but they don't need to. There came a point last year when the Lakers weren't trying to win, when evaluating prospects such as Kent Bazemore and Kendall Marshall was more important than creating a unified dynamic, when the NBA draft was all they had.

Next season could see more of the same.

Whiffing on star free agents such as Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James has the Lakers thinking about losing big in 2014-15, per Bleacher Report's Howard Beck:

Is that the right move? Is prioritizing losses over wins the best way for the Lakers to expedite their rebuilding process?

Or is it fool's gold this time around?


Why Would They Tank?

If you don't think you can beat them, make sure you lose to them.

A lot.

This is the motto certain teams have come to embrace over the years. Contrary to popular opinion, and despite the frequency with which he employs this concept, Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie did not author it. He's just really, really good at interpreting it as a yearly edict.

Ugly in practice, tanking can have its benefits. Although the league has discussed draft lottery reform, nothing has changed. The more a team loses, the better chance it has at landing a high draft pick.

But it's a bit more complicated than that for the Lakers. If they're going to tank, they must tank hard. They must be even worse than last season, as Beck points out:

Winning 27 games last year gave the Lakers the Association's sixth-worst record. That wouldn't be good enough next season. The Lakers must guarantee they ...

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