'83-'84 Penguins tanked to get Lemieux...there's a number of articles on the subject. Some Devils who played on the '83-'84 team that finished with the second-worst record were pretty surprised that McMullen was trying NOT to tank that season (he hired Tom McVie to turn things around after a 2-20-0 start). Meanwhile, Pittsburgh was very clearly not icing its best lineup some nights (you can find a lot of info on this online).
As for the San Antonio Spurs (Tim Duncan) and Indianapolis Colts (Andrew Luck)...yes, in both cases key injuries played a role, but suffice it to say neither team exactly went out of their way to make their "down" seasons any better.
McVie was very vocal about not caring about the pick. Professionals do not lose intentionally. If they do then they are professional. You always play to win. He got a lot of respect from me on that issue. btw we got Kirk Muller and that was a good thing.