Get Ready For The NBA Tanking Campaign Of A Lifetime – Deadspin

Photo: Matt York/AP

By the time the NBA’s All-Star break usually rolls around, the standings are more or less set. It’s typically obvious which four or so teams will be contending for a championship, and it’s also apparent who will be spending the rest of the year in the toilet, tanking for superior lottery odds and draft positioning. As a Kings fan, the lottery is my NBA Finals, and I can usually tell where my team will pick by Valentine’s Day. However, this year’s a bit different.

While fans know to expect another Warriors championship, the opposite end of the standings is a big mess. There are plenty of very bad teams, but unlike in years past, almost no separation between them. The Kings are in current possession of the NBA’s worst winning percentage (.309), though five teams have more losses than Sacramento, and there’s almost no difference between the records of the league’s seven worst teams. Look at this shit!

A few caveats: The Nets don’t control their pick, so they’re not actively tanking though they are still very bad. The Bulls are slightly better than the gang of seven thanks largely to Nikola Mirotic, but now that he’s in New Orleans, you can expect them to truly head south. The Knicks will also probably start tanking soon thanks to Kristaps Porzingis’s injury. Because the Hornets did not trade Kemba Walker, and because the bottom of the standings is so clogged, they don’t seem like a candidate to tank even though they’re only a game better than the Knicks.

We’ve almost never seen this close of a race to the bottom this late in the season. For example: If the Kings beat the Mavericks tonight, they’d swap positions in the overall standings, a change

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