Everyone's talking about tanking for Wiggins and the rest of the 2014 draft class, but I think the Lakers should just put together whatever team they can, stay clear for 2014 free agency, and let the chips fall where they may.
Tanking logic for me goes like this: the Lakers will have a very hard time winning a championship next year. It's highly unlikely. As winning a championship is the top priority, and squeaking into the playoffs and losing in an early round isn't enough for the Lakers, it's better to have Kobe sit as long as possible and tank for a high draft pick.
But tanking doesn't work. The only team you could argue has tanked, gotten a star, and won a championship while that star was still on his rookie contract was the Spurs... and even then, they were helped just as much by David Robinson coming off of an almost yearlong injury. It's not like they went into the season with a roster designed to tank. So when they get Duncan, they also added a healthy David Robinson, AND Popovich began to coach. That's a lot of talent to add to the mix all at once.
But okay, you could say it worked for the Spurs. And... when else? If tanking works, why aren't the Bobcats better? Or even close? There's so much luck involved. If the reason you are tanking is to win a championship, then you have to acknowledge that it doesn't work to achieve the goal very often. And it's not worth the risk.
The risk is that purposely tanking means your organization is committing to a losing culture. This would be fine to do in NBA2K14, you just hit "simulate" and then collect your Wiggins. But your club is real, actual people, staff and players, spending 9 months traveling on the road, at practice, away from the families. Losing a bunch of games isn't going to help anyone's morale. And I doubt they can keep telling themselves "We're just trying to get a better pick." A better pick, by the way, which most likely means at least one of those people tanking will be out of a job. I have no doubt that the veterans on a tanking team are tempted to play with less effort and professionalism. Some questions: Isn't it likely that the younger players on your team will pick up bad habits that way? Wouldn't it hurt player development? Wouldn't it make it less likely that one of your underrated players might shine... someone that at the very least could become a valuable, underpaid trade asset? Wouldn't it encourage habitual poor performances from your players? Or your assistant coaches, or your towel guy, or your video analyst? Is it that easy to get a great pick in the draft and tell everyone in the organization, "Okay guys, now we are back to trying hard and being good at our jobs" after you've done the exact opposite for a year?