Does Being a Horrible NBA Team Guarantee Future Success?

Should NBA teams tank to get a better draft pick? STACK looks at some of the worst teams of the past decade to find out if the strategy pays off.

2003-2004 Orlando Magic

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2003-2004 Orlando Magic

Photo via NBA

Record: 21-61

2004 Draft Position: 1st

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Photo via NBA

Record: 21-61

2004 Draft Position: 1st

2004 Draft Pick: Dwight Howard

The 2003-2004 season was a disaster for the Orlando Magic, and that's putting it mildly. The team's roster, aside from Tracy McGrady, was a wasteland, with Juwan "I Don't Actually Age" Howard checking in as the team's second leading scorer. After a 1-10 start, head coach Doc Rivers was fired, and overall, the team lost 21 more games than they had the previous season.

Orlando's consolation prize was winning the 2004 NBA Draft Lottery and using that pick to select high school phenom Dwight Howard. Howard led the Magic to the playoffs six straight seasons, making it to the Finals in 2009 (and losing to the Los Angeles Lakers) before spurning the franchise to join those same Lakers in 2012.

Verdict: No NBA championship, but Howard, whose departure certainly caused damage, will go down as one of the best players in Orlando franchise history.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

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