The NBA could have fewer teams tanking during the 20-21 regular season ahead of what is supposed to be a strong 2021 draft class.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are widely expected to make 20-21 a rebuilding season after overachieving following the trades of Paul George and Russell Westbrook. Oklahoma City built the foundation of their team by drafting Kevin Durant at No. 2, Russell Westbrook at No. 4 and James Harden at No. 3 in three successive drafts.
The New Orleans Pelicans competed for a playoff spot in 19-20, but could explore trading away Jrue Holiday and J.J. Redick while improving their odds for another high pick in 2021.
"It's not a good year to tank if there are six teams trying to do the same thing, but if there's two teams," said Brian Windhorst. "Even the Knicks, a team to me makes sense to tank, there's legitimate rumors about them looking at Chris Paul. The Cavs, who have sort of been at the bottom, from what I understand intend to hit the gas a little bit. There's not a tankers out there, which I think Sam Presti is reading that. It goes to your point how competitive the west will be as the Pelicans look at making their decision."
The NBA changed the odds of the lottery in September 2017 with the three teams with the worst records having equal odds at 14 percent. The Thunder were the only team in the NBA to vote against the reform while the Dallas Mavericks abstained.