NBA Teams That Should Tank for Andrew Wiggins and 2014 Draft Class
When the 2014 NBA draft approaches next summer, several NBA squads will be hoping the lottery balls bounce in their favor.
Who wouldn't want a chance to select Andrew Wiggins, Kansas' incoming 6'8" small forward, who has superstar written all over him?
He's not the only star-quality prospect of that loaded draft class; Duke commit Jabari Parker is an inside-outside force, and incoming Kentucky forward Julius Randle is a physical specimen. Don't forget about Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart and Arizona commit Aaron Gordon.
There's a group of NBA franchises that desperately need the star power these youngsters can provide.
Free agency is also an option for these teams, as the 2014 class is stocked with megastars, scorers and key role players. But for teams that won't attract significant signees, the draft is an exciting avenue to return to glory.
New Orleans Pelicans
Although the New Orleans Hornets showed promise in 2012-13, they're still a couple big pieces away from truly contending in the West.
Their first season as the Pelicans will be respectable, but nowhere near the upper tier of the conference.
They need production and depth at both forward positions, and that's why a young stud like Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker would be a massive pickup.
New Orleans finished 25th in the NBA in scoring this past season, and one of the main reasons for that power outage was a lack of versatility from the 3-spot.
Compared to some of the other small-market clubs, the Pelicans will be more attractive to free agents. However, Wiggins or Parker could be a once-in-a-decade playmaker.
Since the Charlotte Bobcats' 2013-14 ceiling is in the 30-win range, they might as well stay in the cellar another year and add a young dynamic forward in the draft.
The club is desperate for a truly dangerous offensive forward who can put pressure on defenses.
Put Andrew Wiggins on the wing alongside Kemba Walker, and you've got the makings of a hard-to-guard attack.
Put Julius Randle or Jabari Parker in the frontcourt with Bismack Biyombo, and you've got a respectable combination of offense and defense.
Depending on who they get, and how they fit, the Bobcats could be a 40-win club by 2015.
But not if they don't tank.
Still reeling in the aftermath of the 2012 Dwight Howard trade, the Orlando Magic are thirsting for star power.
They need someone even better than young building blocks Moe Harkless, Nikola Vucevic and Andrew Nicholson. Those guys are solid role players, and Harkless might even become a star, but not to the level that Andrew Wiggins could achieve.
Right now, the club doesn't have anyone who scares opponents and forces them to make major adjustments. Orlando struggled to notch 94 points per game last season and was by far the least athletic team in the Southeast Division.
Wiggins would fill the club's needs and could make the Magic relevant in the East again.
The Sacramento Kings' front line is young and talented, but not quite potent enough on both ends of the floor to compete with the upper echelon of the West.
Aside from DeMarcus Cousins, Sac-town doesn't have any stars who can score inside and out and also defend.
Acquiring one of the ultra-talented prospects of the 2014 draft class would do the trick. Guys like Jabari Parker and Julius Randle are already used to the hype and will be ready to shoulder multifaceted responsibilities once they enter the league.
The Kings need strong, athletic forwards who can use their physical tools to slow down opponents. 2014's top youngsters have shown tremendous promise in that department, especially transition defense.
Owning the worst record in the Western Conference in 2012-13, the Phoenix Suns are the type of team that has a handful of almost-stars, but not any legitimate ones.
In the summer of 2014, they can change that one way or another.
Phoenix may be an attractive destination for several of the marquee free agents on the market, especially considering its massive salary cap room for 2014-15.
But if the Suns are going to be mediocre at best in 2013-14, they should just make sure they're a bottom feeder with good odds in the 2014 lottery.
A star draftee plus a star free agent could make them playoff-bound again in 2015.