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The School News Site of Bonner Springs High School

The Pow Wow

The School News Site of Bonner Springs High School

The Pow Wow

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Is tanking worth it?

Examples from the past to learn from in the future
(Photo: @JakePavorsky on Twitter) Pictured: The banner raising of former 76ers GM Sam Hinkie at a Philadelphian bar.

Tanking is trading away your quality players for draft picks and a greater chance of winning in a few years. Tanking can also be deliberately starting a worse player, instead of your star player because the season is lost and you want a better draft position. Tanking for top draft picks has worked before, but it also hasn’t at times for one key reason. You have to make those top picks count, if you don’t do that then you just wasted all your time losing. Examples of draft flops after tanking are Jahlil Okafor with the Philadelphia 76ers, Mark Appel with the Houston Astros, and so on.  Here are some examples of tanking as a whole.

“Trust the Process” Philadelphia 76ers:

In 2013, the 76ers finished 34-48 signaling a rebuild, and decided to fire then-coach Doug Collins and General Manager Tony DiLeo. Sam Hinkie was brought in and decided to deliberately trade away players for any draft picks. His first pick was Michael Carter-Williams, who had a ton of upside and was then immediately traded away in his second year and his career would never be the same. In the next few years, he threw darts at the board, drafting big men like Nerlens Noel who would be a backup, and Jahlil Okafor who would be playing EuroLeague in three seasons after a solid first two seasons. And Joel Embiid, who turned into arguably the best center in the league, while also picking Ben Simmonds at number one. The team was the worst in the league for three seasons in a row before the NBA stepped in and forced Hinkie to resign. After he resigned the team did become a regular playoff contender but not the finals favorite the fans were promised when the process began. Tanking in this case worked if you wanted star players, but not if you wanted something greater.

Houston Astros 2008-Present:

The Houston Astros were an average team in the 2000s after their fluke World Series run in 2005. They decided to trade away their star players for prospects and chose to rebuild in the draft and development. Despite the much-maligned pick of Mark Appel blowing up in their face, they ended up drafting Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, and other pieces of their team to compete. And it worked, winning their first championship in 2017 and beating the cheating stigma by winning in 2022. They won by developing players and making it count, which makes it a success.

Arizona Cardinals Present-Unknown:

As the sun sets on Arizona’s minimal playoff hopes in 2022, the organization decided to clean house and start fresh. Trading most of their good players or simply letting them walk in free agency. They ended up trading down with the Texans to acquire another first-round pick for this upcoming season. The plan is rather unknown if they’re going to rebuild in free agency or just do work in the draft. They’ll have to decide what Kyler Murray’s future is, as he probably doesn’t want to carry a bad team.

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Madden Rausch
Madden Rausch, Writer
Madden Rausch is in his second year on Staff at BSHS. He mostly covers World Sports and potentially other topics. Highlighting his fandom is Borussia Dortmund and the Kansas City Chiefs. He is pictured with Borussia Dortmund striker #9 Sebastian Haller.

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