I read this last night and thought it was an interesting read:
There are two main arguments. First, since the lottery was instated in 1985 only two teams have won the NBA championship with their number one pick: Spurs (David Robinson and Tim Duncan) and Cavaliers (LeBron James and Kyrie Irving). The second argument was that since 1985 teams have finished with 25 or fewer wins on 137 occasions. Of those teams only the Spurs (1997/1999 title), Heat (2003/2006), Celtics (2007/2008), Cavs (2011/2016) and Warriors (2012/2015) have turned it around and won a title within five years. He discounts the Celtics as draft related because theirs was more about the trades for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. So since 1985 tanking has a 4-132-1 record. Ultimately he concludes that just because some organisations draft high doesn't mean they get it right or that they go on to have success, most don't. However, the good teams manage to find franchise changing talent regardless of where they are picking in the draft.
Essentially it confirms what I have argued on here in recent weeks, that we shouldn't be obsessed about tanking to get the first overall or second overall pick. We should value the development of our younger players on this roster and if that results in a few wins that leaves us picking 4th or 5th or 6th - so be it. The best teams in this league don't tend to line up multiple 1st and 2nd overall draft selections. Besides, this year there isn't a LeBron James or Kevin Durant. There isn't even an Andrew Wiggins. So while I don't dispute the value of a top five pick in this year's draft, what I would say is that for our team to rebuild successfully we are going to need to do more than pick in the top few. The front office needs to be smarter in their scouting to ensure we get those franchise changing players wherever they pick. They also need to be smarter in free agency and with the trades they make. The coaching staff needs to be better at developing our young talent to make sure they achieve their potential. For me, rebuilding this team takes more than a top pick. It is not that simple. This team does need to continue to add talent, but that talent doesn't necessarily have to be the first or second guy off the board to change the direction of this team.