Posts Tagged ‘NBA Draft Lottery’

139919208_crop_north

The NBA is trying to solve the problem of tanking by taking away the main incentive behind the controversial team-building strategy.

The league is aggressively pursuing lottery reform and could vote changes into legislation before the start of the 2017-18 season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Competition Committee is expected to vote on points of reform, before sending a formal recommendation to the Board of Governors for the final decision.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver is strongly advocating for draft lottery reform measures to disincentivize tanking by lowering the worst teams’ chances of having the highest odds at the best picks. Proposed changes would also see higher odds for lottery teams making a jump up or down in the draft order.

Smaller markets have opposed lottery reform in the past since a restrictive draft system is their only avenue to recruit elite talent. Free agency typically siphons stars from smaller to bigger destinations, which puts an added premium on drafting.

The current system gives the team with the worst record a 25 percent chance at winning the first overall pick and a 100 percent chance at picking in the top four. Odds for higher picks decrease as records improve, as in there’s an incentive to lose, which is why some teams try as hard as possible to field a noncompetitive team in hopes of maximizing their lottery chances.

Some organizations like the Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and New York Knicks have been given high lottery picks many years in a row while making little tangible progress to improve their records.

It’s unclear as to when the changes would be put into place. Given that the league’s 30 teams are all operating on their own timelines, it could potentially be difficult to find an amicable time to implement changes at an agreed time.

Advertisements

riley

Everyone in the league has their own solution to address tanking, but Miami Heat president Pat Riley’s suggestion might be the most entertaining.

Riley wants non-playoff teams to play a tournament for the right to select first overall, instead of having a random lottery with weighted odds determine their fate.

“What I’d like to have is a two-out-of-three lottery playoff … The lottery teams play a tournament for that (No. 1) pick,” Riley told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel on Monday.

Riley added, “No more tanking at the end … so play for it. Let’s have a little playoff for the top pick in the draft.”

The current rules reward those at the bottom and penalize teams that come closest to making the playoffs. A franchise like the Los Angeles Lakers that had no aspirations of winning landed the second pick for a third straight year, while a team like the Heat that refused to tank after a 11-30 start got the No. 14 selection following a brilliant finish.

Under Riley’s structure, there would always be an incentive to build the strongest roster possible. The Heat didn’t make the playoffs, but their roster would have ranked as a favorite to win the lottery sweepstakes and take the top pick. At the very least, it would create an entertaining product.

But there are flaws, too, with Riley’s plan. Low playoff seeds might choose to tank into the lottery if they prefer a strong chance at a pick over a small chance in the postseason. This structure might also leave poor franchises without any chance of upward mobility through the draft.