Now that the 2013 NBA trade deadline has come and gone, it's much clearer which teams are trying to climb the ranks this year and which ones are primed to start tanking.
The Washington Wizards' front office was apparently unmoved by the hidden promise the team had shown in recent weeks, dealing Jordan Crawford for virtually nothing.
A couple of other teams, like the Minnesota Timberwolves and Charlotte Bobcats, showed by their inaction that they're now resigned to their lottery fates as well.
And the Orlando Magic unloaded J.J. Redick, the team's only half-decent player, for scraps. That move was a clear white-flag signal.
But hey, there's really no shame in recognizing that it's time to play for next year. The worst place an NBA team can be is the middle, so nobody's judging the imminent tank-jobs many clubs are about to undertake in search of a transformative draft pick. If anything, there's a boldness to admitting failure and treading a rough path toward redemption.
Shortsighted fans don't like watching losses, but smart ones know that 60 defeats in a season are actually much better than 40.