That rumbling you hear? The Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers are bringing their tanks out to play, with positioning for two potential top-five draft picks hanging in the balance. Sam Hinkie doubled down on Philadelphia losing out the rest of the way, cutting Michael Carter-Williams out of the franchise's future in exchange for a chance to be the team that cashes in on the Lakers' potentially missing out on a top prospect this summer.
Doing so was a gamble, but either way the 76ers will come up with an asset. The Lakers' pick is top-three protected going forward, and no matter how bad the Lakers have been, it's hard to imagine them sinking even further than where they are now. That makes the remaining two games against Philadelphia key for Los Angeles. Every loss brings the Lakers closer to leapfrogging the 76ers into a bottom-three record, and further away from surrendering that pick to the Hinkie machine this year.
The Lakers have done their part in this tank war, keeping their win total down -- they've won just 17 games, the same as Philadelphia -- while losing nine of their last 10 games. The Sixers, meanwhile, have gone 4-6 in that same span, currently riding a two-game winning streak after dropping both the Pistons and Knicks. It's never easy to hope for a loss, but if there's a time to do it, it's now for Lakers fans.
Time: 6:30 p.m. PT