The Philadelphia 76ers were ahead of the curve. We think.
When I think about tanking, I think about how the Sixers basically traded away the team’s immediate future at the 2013 NBA Draft. Then I look at their 26-game (and counting) losing streak and then you kind of get it.
Of course, we won’t find out if this concept actually works until after the draft, and probably even further down after that. However, if there’s one thing that’s succeeded is the fact that no one is going to want to play for that team — at least right now.
No, I’m not talking about draft picks holding out for trade, but other outside free agents being reluctant to play for a team that is in the midst of a major rebuild.
And Philadelphia coach Brett Brown verified that thought to The Inquirer:
“It’s all aligned to we are not going to be pursuing free agents for a while,” said Sixers coach Brett Brown, whose franchise plans to build a new practice facility in two seasons. “We are about development. Once the alignment with development collides with a bunch of other things in the program, then you can start talking about free agents.
“No free agent is going to want to come to Philadelphia at this stage. Why would a good free agent want to come in and be a part of a rebuild?”
The Sixers aren’t hiding what they’re doing — you know apart from not calling it “tanking” exactly. But one could argue that you aren’t rebuilding properly if you aren’t tanking.
If so, the Sixers are well on their way. A couple of lucky bounces here and there, and they could really have something.
Until then, let’s see how long that 20-some game losing streak can go.