Tanks For Nothing? NBA Could Install Changes To Lottery In Time For '19 Draft
The NBA is "aggressively pursuing draft lottery reform that could be voted into legislation and instituted" by the '19 draft, according to sources cited by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is a "strong advocate to deincentivize tanking by implementing lower odds on the NBA's worst teams to gain the top picks in the draft." The proposed measures would also "increase the chances of better teams making a jump into the draft lottery." The NBA Competition Committee is "expected to vote next week on sending a formal recommendation to the board of governors for final passage." The competition committee is "given significant latitude to challenge and amend the league office's proposals, and thus could recommend none, part, or all of a proposal" for NBA owners to vote upon at a late September BOG meeting in N.Y. (ESPN.com, 9/7). NBC Sports Bay Area's Ray Ratto noted the changes miss the "central point." He said, "If you install this, all you're doing is changing the area in which tanking becomes important from the last four teams to teams 14 through 18. All you're doing is changing it. If you end up being the 16th team of the playoff list, you may go, ‘Do I really want to do that?’” (“The Happy Hour,” NBC Sports Bay Area, 9/7).
TWITTER REAX: Former 76ers and Trail Blazers exec Ben Falk addressed the issue in a string of tweets: "This would be a mistake, and would not have the intended effects. ... The tanking problem comes from a combination of (1) the importance of stars in basketball and (2) the current rules of the CBA. ... The issue is not the draft lottery, so tweaking the draft lottery doesn’t solve anything. But it would have important consequences." Philadelphia-based WIP-FM Program Dir Spike Eskin: "Logical result NBA lottery reform: 1. teams don't tank 2. Legit worst teams have harder time getting better 3. Bad teams stay bad." The Ringer's Bill Simmons: "They could just make a 'can't pick higher than 4th two years in a row' rule." Celtics Assistant GM Mike Zarren: "I strongly support efforts to reform the lottery to reduce incentives to create very bad teams. Wins are zero-sum but game quality isn't. ... My opinion on this has been consistent (and documented) since 2010, amid C's ups & downs, with and w/o Nets picks. And will stay consistent." Rockets GM Daryl Morey: "Mike makes the point better in <140 characters than I could in multiple tweets #reformthedraft."