NBA Tanking Is On – Teams Collapse


Has anyone noticed the Utah Jazz lately? The Toronto Raptors? It’s that time of year again when NBA tanking comes up. NBA tanking is the idea that teams in the league purposely lose games to better enhance their draft position in the next year’s league draft. The Jazz have lost 10 games in a row and are now 29-47. Utah has been eliminated from the postseason for some time and is in 12th place in the Western Conference standings.

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Utah and Toronto are the definition of NBA tanking in 2024.

The Raptors have looked like the definition of NBA tanking. Toronto last won a game on March 3. They have lost 15 straight and things don’t look like they will improve any time soon for the Raptors. They will play the Bucks tonight in Milwaukee. Among their final six games, Toronto will face Miami in back-to-back games to end the season. Like Utah, Toronto was eliminated from the postseason a while ago and they will be among the teams in the NBA lottery.

Is NBA Tanking Real?

Some may wonder if NBA tanking is actually real. Well, the incentives are there for teams to intentionally lose games and avoid the play-in tournament. NBA tanking is real because teams are rewarded when they field non-competitive teams. The league is all about parity, so teams that engage in NBA tanking will reap the benefits of lottery picks in the NBA draft.

Take the Oklahoma City Thunder as a great example of how NBA tanking works. In the COVID season of 2019-20, the Thunder made the postseason after going 44-28. They lost to Houston in the first round of the playoffs. OKC went on to dismantle most of that roster and ended up on a downward slide.

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Oklahoma City’s current roster was built through the NBA draft lottery.

In 2020-21, the Thunder went 22-50. The team was awarded a lottery pick and, through some other moves, had three first-round picks in the 2021 NBA draft. The first of those picks was used on Josh Giddey, who is the Thunder’s fourth-leading scorer right now, averaging 12.3 points per game. 

The 2021-22 season was another lesson in how NBA tanking works. Oklahoma City made a small improvement and ended the season 24-48. That led to yet another lottery pick in the 2022 draft. Once again, the Thunder had accumulated three first-round draft picks. OKC had the No. 2 pick in that draft and used it on Chet Holmgren who is the team’s third-leading scorer (16.6 ppg) and leading rebounder (7.9 rpg). 

NBA Tanking Result

For Oklahoma City, NBA tanking has resulted in a roster full of stars and rising stars. The Thunder had acquired leading scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in 2019 and then surrounded him with outstanding talent via the draft. How does an NBA team get the best players available in a draft? They need to draft near the top of the order. Getting to the top of that draft order requires NBA tanking. 

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NBA tanking teams have a better shot in the NBA draft lottery.

In addition to Holmgren in the 2022 NBA draft, the Thunder also selected second-leading scorer Jalen Williams with the 12th overall pick. Williams averages 19.5 points and 4.6 assists per game for OKC this season. The result of NBA tanking is that Oklahoma City has built a roster that will compete for NBA championships for the next few years. 

A team like Utah, for example, could continue its philosophy of NBA tanking and do exactly what the Thunder has done. The Jazz have a nice core of players like Lauri Markkanen (23.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg), Collin Sexton (18.8 ppg, 4.9 apg), and Jordan Clarkson (17.1 ppg, 5.0 apg). NBA tanking this season and next would give Utah the opportunity to add some of college basketball’s elite players to their lineup and potentially allow them to do what Oklahoma City is doing this year…compete for an NBA championship.

No Tanking on the Leaderboard

NBA tanking may be a thing, but there is no tanking on the Sports Hub daily leaderboard. Our expert handicappers were born to do one thing – win. They continue to do it on a daily basis. Yesterday, it was our own SWJ Sports that topped the board with $790 in profits. 

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SWJ Sports is one of our proven cappers.

Let’s look at the rest of the best from yesterday.

  • Top dog: Scott at SWJ Sports is a regular contributor here at Sports Hub. He’s also one of our top cappers. He showed that yesterday, hitting 8 of 10 picks to earn that $790. For NHL bettors, keep an eye on Scott. He was 6-1 on his hockey picks yesterday.
  • Another NHL capper: In addition to SWJ Sports, NHL bettors should keep an eye on Sean Kuchman. Last night, he went 8-2 and took home $635. All ten picks were on NHL games.
  • Coach ‘em up: Coach Rick can coach bettors to wins. He did it last night by going 5-1 overall and adding $402 to the bankroll. With the MLB season starting, it’s worth noting that Coach Rick is No. 2 on the 7-day baseball leaderboard with $676 in MLB profits. 
  • The numbers don’t lie: Through years of research and sweat, Sports Hub developed its own computer-generated sports picks. These picks win at roughly a 59 percent clip over the last five years. Last night, Computer Picks had another solid day, going 4-1 and earning $250. The computer was 3-1 on four NBA games. 
  • Top 5: Gino De Luca went 2-0 and had the Cleveland Guardians at +135 to beat the Minnesota Twins. That bet cashed and Gino wound up with $235 in winnings. Our own Randall Dickelman, another Sports Hub expert, also went 2-0 but only pulled in $205.

Plenty of Hoops News

The NIT is finally over and what a finish it was. The women strap it up tonight and begin their Final Four. The championship game is on Sunday. There is also a ton of news in the NBA as the regular season nears its end. Nine more days and the 2023-24 campaign is over and the NBA playoffs start soon after.

What basketball news is trending?

  • Seton Hall wins NIT: The Pirates trailed 77-70 with 2:54 remaining in the game. Indiana State would not score again and Seton Hall would finish with a 9-0 run to capture the 2024 NIT championship. Dre Davis’s layup with 16 seconds left would be the game-winner.
  • CBB coaching carousel:  After Andy Enfield left USC for SMU, the Trojans were in need of a new coach. Former Arkansas coach Eric Musselman will be the new head coach at USC. Musselman took the Razorbacks to consecutive Elite Eights before last year’s disappointing 16-17 season. It appears that Musselman will not have Bronny James next season. He is expected to transfer.
  • Women’s Final Four: All eyes will be on Caitlin Clark and Iowa in tonight’s NCAAW Final Four. Tonight, Clark will matchup against UConn and Paige Bueckers. In the other semifinal, NC State takes on unbeaten South Carolina (36-0).
  • NBA tanking: It’s that time of year again. With only a handful of games remaining in the NBA regular season, teams at the bottom of the standings are battling for one thing – draft position. Utah and Toronto both play on the road tonight.

Watch NBA Tanking Tonight

It’s a full schedule for the NBA tonight and several teams are in that mix competing for better NBA draft lottery odds. The women’s Final Four starts tonight and there is a full slate of Friday baseball for MLB fans. 

Here’s what you can bet on tonight.

  1. NCAAW Final Four: It might be the best matchup of the entire women’s tourney – Caitlin Clark versus Paige Bueckers. UConn takes on Iowa tonight with a spot in the NCAAW championship game on the line. NC State and South Carolina meet in the other semifinal.
  2. NBA Friday: There are 12 NBA games on the schedule tonight. Detroit, which has the worst record in the NBA (13-63) will play in Memphis tonight. The Grizzlies are 26-50 as the two NBA tanking machines battle. 
  3. Friday baseball: The MLB schedule has 13 games on it. The highlight is a rematch of the teams that played for the American League championship last year – Houston and Texas. The Rangers, of course, got the best of the Astros on their way to a World Series victory. Houston is a -140 favorite to win tonight. The Astros have won eight straight at Globe Life Field.
  1. Friday night ice: Friday’s are usually a day on the NHL schedule when teams get ready for a big day Saturday. That is still the case, but there are six games on the schedule tonight. Washington is at Carolina in a key game tonight. The Capitals, currently fifth in the Metropolitan Division, can still make the postseason. Carolina is a -270 favorite tonight.
  2. Getting ready for a soccer weekend: Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1 all have one match today as they all get ready for a big weekend of matches. 
  3. Golf: Akshay Bhatia shot a ridiculous first-round 63 to take the lead at the 2024 Valero Texas Open. The second round is in progress as you read this.
  4. Tennis: On the ATP Tour today, it’s quarterfinal action in the Fayiz Sarofim & Co. US Men’s Clay Court Championships, the Millenium Estoril Open, and the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakesh. The women continue in their three separate WTA Tour events. It’s also quarterfinal action in the Charleston Open, the Copa Colsanitas, and the Open Internacional Femini Solgirones.

Don’t be like the NBA. Don’t tank on your bets this weekend. Stick with the pros here at Sports Hub and let them guide you to more wins. Members have access to the best handicappers in the world. Numerous Sports Hub cappers have proven track records across a variety of sports.

Our picks database is completely searchable. Bettors can find exactly what they are looking for. Want a pick for tonight’s NBA games? NHL? You name it. We’ve got it, and we’ve got plenty of wins too. Don’t wait any longer. Join Sports Hub and the movement now!