There has been a little thread commentary lately recommending that we "tank" the rest of the season in order to improve our draft slot. Sadly, these efforts would yield little in return.
Currently, we are 5 games ahead of Indiana, who occupies the 9th spot. We could lose the rest of our games and it might not be enough to "catch" the Pacers. On the other hand, we are 4.5 games clear of the Blazers, who occupy the 13th spot. Therefore, the only teams that we could reel in by tanking would be (currently) Atlanta or New Jersey (11th slot, 2 games "ahead") and Chicago (10th slot, 3.5 games "ahead"). The Hawks and Nets are currently tied for 8th and 9th in the East, so one of them would be a playoff team and one would be a lottery team.
As you can see, a tank job would yield no more than two draft slots, and that's assuming that the Bulls and Hawks or Nets win their share of games down the stretch.
That being said, I would love to see a lot more of the youngsters down the stretch. If that means Miller and Moore rest a little more so that Hawes and Williams can get some more minutes, I'm all for it. I'd like to get Douby a little more burn, too. But I will still steadfastly root for the Kings to win.
Our last 16 games include 10 against playoff bound teams: Warriors(2), Spurs(2), Rockets(2), Wizards, Lakers(2) and Hornets. We also play the Nuggets one more time. All of these teams are fighting for playoff positions right now, with the Warriors and Nuggets fighting for their very playoff lives. Wouldn't you prefer knocking someone out of the playoffs or home court advantage as opposed to (maybe) moving up a slot or two in the draft? Wouldn't you rather see another game like we saw last week in Los Angeles as opposed to watching K9(woof!), AJ and Lorenzen Wright play?
Item last - The Celtics and the Grizzlies tanked down the stretch last year. Ask Boston and Memphis teams how their efforts to improve their draft seeding worked out for them.