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.

2005-2006 Portland Trail Blazers

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2005-2006 Portland Trail Blazers

AP Photo

Record: 21-61

2006 Draft Position: 4th

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AP Photo

Record: 21-61

2006 Draft Position: 4th

2006 Draft Picks: LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy

Despite sporting the worst record in the league during the 2005-06 season, giving them the highest percentage likelihood to win the NBA Draft lottery, the Trail Blazers wound up with the fourth pick, the lowest they could've received given the odds. After multiple No. 2 pencils were broken in half in Portland's draft room, the team got to work cooking up some draft day deals. Portland traded for the rights to LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy in exchange for their own draft picks, Tyrus Thomas and Randy Foye—a huge coup for the franchise.

Roy was named Rookie of the Year, but his Trail Blazer career was plagued by leg and knee injuries, and the still-young guard announced his retirement prior to the 2011-2012 season, just five seasons after he was drafted. Aldridge became a staple of the franchise, averaging 18.3 points and 7.8 rebounds through his first eight seasons. Roy and Aldridge led Portland to the playoffs in three straight seasons from 2009-2011, but they lost in the first round each time.

Verdict: Roy was an All-Star when healthy, which unfortunately was a rarity. Aldridge is a two-time All-Star and a consistent threat for Portland ever since he arrived. But with Roy's retirement, those three first round playoff exits and no post-season appearances since 2011, Portland fans can only sit back and wonder what might have been if Roy's knees hadn't aged twice as fast as the rest of his body.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

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