OK, let’s start with the obvious: what does “tanking” in the NBA mean? In short, it means that teams simply stop trying. It’s not just on the court, it all starts within the front office of any pro team.
If the bigwigs decide that they’re not going to make the annual NBA Play-Offs in April, the franchise will find ways to make themselves less competitive. Trade away star players for lesser assets. Bench important ones. Remove financial backing. It all counts, and is usually “sold” to onlookers as rebuilding phase. It rarely is.
It’s a race to the bottom of the league. Why? Well, because the teams nearer rock bottom get a better shot at drafting the next top star out of college. In 2019, that top star is Duke phenom, Zion Williamson.