NBA Picks: Tanking Teams' Action Plans as Trade Deadline Approaches

Doug Upstone

Friday, February 13, 2015 3:23 PM GMT

Sharp bettors know, having a decent record vs. the NBA odds doesn't buy teams a bid to the playoffs. When the trade deadline arrives some will look to unload a couple players looking towards the future.

Instead, these losing teams start making future plans and most are less obvious than Philadelphia in wanting to lose, which bring up a term often associated with the NBA, tanking.

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This makes it very challenging for NBA basketball handicappers and those putting together sports picks to find good numbers when sportsbooks begin assigning massive numbers on favorites against these teams and they cover. Here is what a few NBA teams might be doing in the next week before the trade deadline arrives.

With Utah going to miss the postseason again, the Jazz will be receiving inquires about the availability of Trey Burke and Enes Kanter, who have fallen out of favor in coach Quinn Snyder’s rotation. However, not everyone is excited about their replacements Dante Exum and Rudy Gobert and moving Burke and Kanter could send the Jazz further off-key for the future.

The Sacramento Kings are a complete disaster, with George Karl being their third different head coach this season. The Kings roster is a mess and outside of DeMarcus Cousins and Ben McLemore, everyone else would seem expendable. Hard to say at this time if Karl will immediately want to remake the Kings roster or let the season play-out and start fresh next season.

Philadelphia has been tanking for some time now but is beginning to build a core group with Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel. The 76ers will no doubt be listening to offers for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, whose skills as a rebounder and defender may come in handy for a playoff team before he becomes a free agent this summer, if the return player is a fit for what they want to build.

The Orlando Magic would be wise at this time to keep the sweet-shooting veteran trio of Channing Frye, Ben Gordon and Luke Ridnour to go along with their young talent, at least through the end of the season, to allow them to further grow and head towards becoming a winning team again. Start moving one or more of these players and those making NBA picks will start betting against the Magic regularly.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been run into the ground by Jim Buss and need to move their two best assets Ed Davis and Jordan Hill for draft choices and face facts this is a full blown rebuilding process and maybe Mitch Kupchak is not the right person to turn this franchise around. Of course the clueless Buss is not going to help matters.