Teams That Definitely Aren't Tanking for the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery
You'd think acquiring talent to improve the roster would be an obvious move if possible.
Not in today's game, where tankers get rewarded.
But there are teams out there who've become frustrated with having to rely on ping-pong balls. And it's tough to blame them.
Despite one of the strongest projected draft classes in recent memory, the following teams are pretending they've never heard of Andrew Wiggins.
By acquiring Andrew Bynum, the Cavaliers appear to be making a push for the 2014 playoffs.
Granted, Bynum's effectiveness will depend on his health, but they didn't sign him to rest. The Cavaliers clearly have a goal of becoming a player in the East as soon as possible.
Acquiring Bynum also seemed like a move to comfort Kyrie Irving. Owner Dan Gilbert can't afford for Cleveland to stink by the time Irving's contract is up.
The Cavs will be hoping that Irving, along with Dion Waiters, Jarrett Jack, Anthony Bennett, Anderson Varejao and Andrew Bynum will be a solid enough core to make a postseason push.
On paper, it doesn't sound too bad at all.
New Orleans Pelicans
There's no doubt about this one: The Pelicans have zero interest in waiting another year.
New Orleans already dealt next year's pick in a deal for Jrue Holiday, an All-Star point guard entering the prime of his career.
The Pelicans also just inked Tyreke Evans, a talented scorer who desperately needed a change of scenery.
This is a team built to make an immediate run. If they're able to get production out of Eric Gordon or, more ideally, trade him for a starting-caliber center, this becomes an impressive offensive roster.
The combination of Holiday, Gordon, Evans, Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson doesn't sound like a core prepared to lose 50 games.
The Pistons have been mediocre for a while now and are still missing that marquee player. You'd think Andrew Wiggins would be a perfect fit between Andre Drummond and Brandon Knight.
But Joe Dumars thought otherwise.
Instead of gunning for Wiggins, Dumars brought in Josh Smith to play the combo-forward role in Detroit.
I have to admit, I'm just a tad intrigued with a frontcourt consisting of Smith, Drummond and Greg Monroe. I actually can't wait to see what that looks like.
But if Joe Dumars was purposely looking to tank, he could have probably found a cheaper way to do it. If anything, this three-headed monster has given Detroit an identity.
There isn't a team in the league that needs a No. 1 pick more than the Charlotte Bobcats—which is why they just signed Al Jefferson to prevent that from happening.
It's been forever since the Bobcats were even remotely competitive. All it would have taken is one more year of stinking to change the direction of the ship. Even a top-four pick could net them a franchise-changing talent, in my opinion, of course.
But the Bobcats signed Jefferson, an expensive, talented scorer who can probably make the Bobcats just a little too good.
Among Philadelphia, Dallas, Milwaukee, Washington and Phoenix, there could be some pretty bad teams next year. With Jefferson, an improved Kemba Walker entering year No. 3 and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the Bobcats have a trio that could threaten the team's chances of finishing at the bottom.
The Kings held onto DeMarcus Cousins, added Ben McLemore through the draft and acquired a new starting point guard in Greivis Vasquez.
If you're assessing this roster on paper, it doesn't appear like a team built to lose now.
If you think about it, Vasquez and McLemore should work well together. One guy loves to dribble, the other catches and shoots.
Sacramento also picked up Carl Landry, a reliable role player who can make things happen without the ball in his hands.
With Landry and Marcus Thornton off the bench, the Kings now have depth along with talent. I'm not sure it all clicks in 2013-14, but Andrew Wiggins isn't the goal for June.