Josh Cohen's Analysis: It’s a somewhat twisted point of view, but the reality is in the NBA it is far more advantageous to finish between 25-30 in the standings rather than 10-24.
Those who get caught in the middle of the pack – even those that sneak into the playoffs as a lower seed – get immediately stuck in a dead end trap.
Though losing is never rewarded, a last place or close to last-place finish allows teams to have the opportunity to score big in the NBA Draft. Most of the league’s best players were high lottery picks (LeBron, Durant, Carmelo, Rose, Westbrook, Dwight, Irving, Duncan, etc.).
It was a frequent debate earlier in the season as to whether fans preferred a more competitive outcome in which the Magic tiptoed into the playoffs or, conversely, dealt with more standard growing pains and naturally fell in the high draft lottery pool.
It’s only rational to believe that Orlando’s current slot in the draft lottery (25 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick) is far more beneficial than any of the other possible options during this rebuilding season.
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