Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Basketball Fan on Mon Dec 23, 2013 10:44 am

http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/ ... eel-cycle/

Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery, going to 30-year set “wheel” cycle

It’s going to be the first big issue that falls in the lap of new commissioner Adam Silver — tanking. By the time the All-Star Game rolls around and we move close to the trade deadline a lot of teams are going to eye the deep draft of talent coming up, wonder why they should fight for an eight seed, and just make moves to get bad. No, teams aren’t going to tell players to lose, but watch squads like Orlando and Toronto start to jettison every veteran player who might help them win now in favor of winning in the future.

This is going to become a thing your casual sports fans friends start complaining about. Just wait. But it’s also just part of the reality in a league where you need one of the top 10 players — probably two of them — to win a title. Star players in the NBA influence the game far more than any other sport outside maybe a hockey goalie.

The NBA’s answer to this issue may be to do away with the lottery all together and go with a set 30-year cyclical “wheel” where each team gets the top pick once in a predetermined year. Zach Lowe breaks the story at Grantland.

Grantland obtained a copy of the proposal, which would eliminate the draft lottery entirely and replace it with a system in which each of the 30 teams would pick in a specific first-round draft slot once — and exactly once — every 30 years. Each team would simply cycle through the 30 draft slots, year by year, in a predetermined order designed so that teams pick in different areas of the draft each year. Teams would know with 100 percent certainty in which draft slots they would pick every year, up to 30 years out from the start of every 30-year cycle. The practice of protecting picks would disappear; there would never be a Harrison Barnes–Golden State situation again, and it wouldn’t require a law degree to track ownership of every traded pick leaguewide.

Put another way: The team that gets the no. 1 pick in the very first year of this proposed system would draft in the following slots over the system’s first six seasons: 1st, 30th, 19th, 18th, 7th, 6th.

This idea has gained some traction, according to the report (which you should read all of). That said, it’s admittedly in the early stages of discussion a long way from being approved — and you know how hard getting radical change approved by a bunch of stuff old owners is to begin with.

You can see the appeal of this as tanking becomes a growing issue — there is no reason to tank, no reason to try and be bad because we would already know the draft order for this season (and the next 30). You can sell this as a tanking fix.

There are a few big problems with this, however.

One is that some year an elite team getting a top pick and really stacking the deck — in 1982 the Lakers won the NBA title behind Magic Johnson then had the No. 1 pick an plucked James Worthy out of North Carolina (thanks to a legendarily bad trade, but that’s another post). Look at it this way: How big an outcry would there be if going into this draft the Heat were slotted for the top pick (or even top 3)?

Second is marketing — in the NBA teams either sell title contention or hope. But what if you are a struggling small market team in the middle of the cycle where your next picks are 10, 15, 22 and 26? You know a game-changing player is almost certainly not coming to you via the draft now for a while and you can’t recruit elite stars to just come to your market as a free agent. You are stuck and no matter how creative the GM there may be no good way out of it. What do you sell to fans?

In a league where the entire last CBA was about parity and giving the little guys a chance to compete with the big markets, it’s hard for me to see the owners agreeing to a system with those kind of flaws. There is no perfect system, but with tanking comes hope and the chance for turning the Utah Jazz around that might not exist with the draft wheel in place.

(Understand that even if approved tomorrow this could not be put in place until all future draft trades already approved had been completed, so we’re talking more than five years out.)

Still, as the tanking conversation gets louder going into March and early April, you never know quite what the owners will do.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby revgen on Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:12 pm

The draft isn't the problem.

The problem is that there are too many teams and not enough talent.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby LakerFan1235 on Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:56 pm

They're never gonna shrink the league so that's not even worth discussing. As for this new system, 30 years is a looooong time.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby revgen on Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:10 pm

It's worth discussing as long as the league keeps trying to find "alternate solutions" to a problem that keeps continuing despite their best efforts to stop it. First they tried the new CBA 2 years ago. Now they're trying this plan, which IMO will also fail.

The league has star players like Derrick Rose getting hurt because they are expected to carry too much of the offensive load. 30 years ago, he'd have more talent on his team to take the load off his shoulders.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby abeer3 on Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:24 pm

I think the positives (no tanking) outweigh the negatives (being mired in mediocrity during a down draft cycle--which basically already happens). there's so much incentive to be bad right now; it hurts the game, imo. and the article worries about the rich getting richer...watch the trade deadline this year, when bad teams give up good players for cap relief and late, protected picks. besides, we had a situation where the pistons were in the conference championship (or was this right after they won it?) and had the 2nd pick in the strongest draft in a decade. that didn't do much to tip the balance.

I do wonder how you would negotiate trades of picks, though. would the stepien rule still exist? would they replace it with other "save you from yourself" rules, like "you can't trade more than three of your top 10 picks in a cycle" (thus, basically ever)?

the thing the article touches on that may be the deciding factor against is what fans buy into. several franchises have run solely on hope for several years. hell, Houston was that until last year, but their fans seemed largely blissfully ignorant of this fact, assured that things were going to get better, no matter what. what happens if you take that away? do fans stop supporting Utah? ironic, of course, given Utah's strategic tanking leading to their supposed superstars in the waiting being exposed in fairly grand fashion (hello, enes kanter).

I do think there are probably some less radical solutions that would make things a little better, though. the first would be evening the odds a bit in the lotto, such that being REALLY bad isn't worth that much over just being bad. still worth something--just not as much, probabilistically. the bigger, perhaps more important change would be to scale back the rookie "ownership". right now, if you hit on a high draft pick, you get to underpay the guy for several years, then hold RFA over his head for a while. essentially, you get, like, 7-8 years of service, half of which are below market value. on the other hand, if he busts, you can cut him at no cost after two years. fairly low risk, super high reward. this is why everyone tanks. if there were some way to renegotiate rookie contracts earlier, teams wouldn't place such a premium on high picks, imo.

more irony, though: high picks lose their value almost immediately after they're made--unless you've nabbed a superstar. think about how much the #2 pick in the draft would have cost in trade prior to the draft two years ago. think about what derrick Williams just got traded for. or what Anthony Bennett would get traded for right now.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby wcsoldier81 on Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:14 am

Don't like this idea at all ...

The best idea I read online was to completely eliminate the drafts and make college players free agent ...

As the best teams are usually capped out , they wouldn't be able to acquire the best prospects ...

It could work with some restrictions ( number of rookies a team can sign , have a min and max salary for rookies ect) .
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Johnnyboy on Tue Dec 24, 2013 2:58 pm

why not just do a lottery regardless of record? One lottery ball per team. Yes the chance of a great team getting better exist, but the odds are small. That way teams don't tank and you don't need stupid 30 year cycles.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby KareemTheGreat33 on Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:40 pm

I like this. Tanking is a disease of poorly ran teams and it should be illegal.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Barnstable on Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:46 pm

Don't like the idea of no draft. I was just thinking about it, and came up with the idea below

My basic idea is three pronged....

1. Increase the payout for the top seeded playoff teams so they get a much higher payout.

2. Playoff teams should have a much higher chance for a high draft pick, with the highest chance being the #8 spot in each conference, then #7, and so on, but...

3. any team that doesn't make the playoffs have a much higher salary cap for the next season.

The only way this works is if the percentage disparity between a playoff team and a non-playoff team's chances for a high pick is huge, but the percentages between the #8 spot and the #1 spot are much lower but the payout for going deep into the playoffs is higher.

(This is an example of how it would be structured with percentages just off the top of my head, so please just understand the general idea. I'm not married to what each percentage should be):

Playoff teams percentage chance to get the #1 Draft Pick
#8= 90%
#7= 80%
#6= 70%
#5= 60%
#4= 50%
#3= 40%
#2= 30%
#1= 20%
non playoff teams percentage chance to get the #1 Draft Pick
#9= 10%
#10= 9%
#11= 8%
#12= 7%
#13= 6%
etc...
etc...



This is balanced because there is no incentive to tank to get the No.8 spot because the higher your spot the more revenue you get for the playoffs and going deeper, but you still have a better chance of getting a high draft pick. And if you try to tank for No.8, there's a chance you miss the playoffs all together.

You now have incentive to make the playoffs because if you don't, the only way you get out of the bottom is to pay for a better team... but you can now do this with a higher cap giving you a better chance at signing multiple veteran free agents to get you out of the hole. The only tanking I can see is on the last few days of the season where a team might see if they lose the last game or two, they are guaranteed to get he No.8 spot but mathematically would still be in the playoffs. Tanking a few games would still be better than tanking a whole season, so I think this is a better plan.

Still not even 10% fleshed out, and the percentages would have to be well considered, but I think the over all idea could work.

What do you guys think?
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby purp n gold on Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:14 pm

This is what I see - the ONE year the Lakers are primed to have a lottery pick, the NBA elects to change lottery system

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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Scnottaken on Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:50 pm

purp n gold wrote:This is what I see - the ONE year the Lakers are primed to have a lottery pick, the NBA elects to change lottery system

#FUStern #FUSilver #GoLakers

We're not getting a lottery pick. Have you SEEN the east? The Lakers would be elite in the east. I'm pretty sure a couple teams in the eastern conference actually have negative wins.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby purp n gold on Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:13 pm

Scnottaken wrote:We're not getting a lottery pick. Have you SEEN the east? The Lakers would be elite in the east. I'm pretty sure a couple teams in the eastern conference actually have negative wins.


Yes, I've seen the East. And a handful of those terrible teams will make the playoffs and not get a lottery pick.

But I've also seen the West. G.S. is 17-13 and is the 8th seed. If you think we're getting close to getting over .500, I don't know what Laker team you've been watching all season.

The real question is, have you SEEN the West?
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Scnottaken on Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:08 pm

Currently, we have a better record than 10 lottery teams. That's 10 of the 14 lottery teams that will have better chances at those picks that us. I don't know, I just don't think this is one of the many times the league has actively tried to screw the Lakers.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Azndude2190 on Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:12 pm

purp n gold wrote:This is what I see - the ONE year the Lakers are primed to have a lottery pick, the NBA elects to change lottery system

#FUStern #FUSilver #GoLakers


Any monumental change to the draft isn't going to happen close to the mid-season. We're good for 2014.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby XXIV on Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:07 pm

The main issue with this is that what if a team like Miami or OKC has the 1st pick when they already are very dominant.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Vasashi17 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:30 pm

Barns, I'm a fan of your system.

Well managed teams need to be rewarded. So giving non-playoff teams cap exemptions to add players will encourage them to get into the top 16 of the league. Meanwhile, top teams will know that they can still compete for today, while still build a title contender for tomorrow.

The problem with getting star talent on rookie contracts is that it encourages frugal owners to keep the status quo. They have a potential star that will bolt come free agency and they can go right onto sucking until they get another star. There are no title aspirations or incentives in the present setting.

The possible thing I can see occurring is that playoff teams could tank to find themselves as a FA player if a notable player is due to be a FA. The thing is, if a potential playoff contender tanks, its a sure thing the following year they are back in title contention. Also, playoff teams could "tank" due to key injuries, so its not like teams would be sucking on purpose. Another thing is that if you are a playoff team, that team is likely to have stars that want no part of intentionally sucking just to get a player in the offseason. So basically, tanking should be rare. Under the present scenario multiple teams tank to get that number 1 pick and if he doesn't pan out all that "suckage" goes in vain, with even more "suckage" to follow.

Barns system adds more parity and competition and should minimize and/or eliminate the "suckage" factor.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby V.V.V.V.V. on Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:53 am

I'm for transparency. Any "lottery" can be easily rigged, and Stern has rigged it imo many a time in his tenure. A set order based on record is probably the most transparent. The downside of course is tanking. There should be an incentive via revenue-sharing percentage for making the playoffs.

During the last CBA negotiations, many of the owners were in favor of a deeper draft with more rounds. To me this sounds like a push for cheaper labor, not necessarily a desire to rebuild. Some team owners want to run their organization on the cheap, the way Sterling did for years. These guys need to be discouraged somehow from this practice.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Doc Brown on Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:04 am

Make it a live feed auction draft with all the owners in the same room. It would make for some good TV.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Battle Tested20 on Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:57 pm

Doc Brown wrote:Make it a live feed auction draft with all the owners in the same room. It would make for some good TV.


haha, yeah that would be a lot of fun to watch
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:06 am

What a terrible idea. First off, the lottery was put into place to prevent teams from tanking. So even if you have the worst record, you aren't guaranteed the #1 pick. To give a team a predetermined pick every year is ridiculous. It might further create a division between the haves and the have nots. The lottery ensures that teams that don't make the playoffs have a chance to improve their roster. Any team that continues to lose for the sake of having a higher draft pick will eventually lose fans and the people in charge will lose their jobs. There is no incentive, in the long run, to lose on purpose.

Now if the NBA didn't have a lottery system in place, that would be a huge issue as you would REALLY have teams that might tank on purpose when a LeBron or Griffin comes out of the draft. But again, the lottery ensures that this doesn't happen.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:12 am

Barnstable wrote:Don't like the idea of no draft. I was just thinking about it, and came up with the idea below

My basic idea is three pronged....

1. Increase the payout for the top seeded playoff teams so they get a much higher payout.

2. Playoff teams should have a much higher chance for a high draft pick, with the highest chance being the #8 spot in each conference, then #7, and so on, but...

3. any team that doesn't make the playoffs have a much higher salary cap for the next season.

The only way this works is if the percentage disparity between a playoff team and a non-playoff team's chances for a high pick is huge, but the percentages between the #8 spot and the #1 spot are much lower but the payout for going deep into the playoffs is higher.

(This is an example of how it would be structured with percentages just off the top of my head, so please just understand the general idea. I'm not married to what each percentage should be):

Playoff teams percentage chance to get the #1 Draft Pick
#8= 90%
#7= 80%
#6= 70%
#5= 60%
#4= 50%
#3= 40%
#2= 30%
#1= 20%
non playoff teams percentage chance to get the #1 Draft Pick
#9= 10%
#10= 9%
#11= 8%
#12= 7%
#13= 6%
etc...
etc...



This is balanced because there is no incentive to tank to get the No.8 spot because the higher your spot the more revenue you get for the playoffs and going deeper, but you still have a better chance of getting a high draft pick. And if you try to tank for No.8, there's a chance you miss the playoffs all together.

You now have incentive to make the playoffs because if you don't, the only way you get out of the bottom is to pay for a better team... but you can now do this with a higher cap giving you a better chance at signing multiple veteran free agents to get you out of the hole. The only tanking I can see is on the last few days of the season where a team might see if they lose the last game or two, they are guaranteed to get he No.8 spot but mathematically would still be in the playoffs. Tanking a few games would still be better than tanking a whole season, so I think this is a better plan.

Still not even 10% fleshed out, and the percentages would have to be well considered, but I think the over all idea could work.

What do you guys think?


So you reward playoff teams with higher draft picks and lower salary caps? I thought the POINT of the draft was the level the playing field. But you're doing the opposite. The strong get stronger and the weak get weaker. Most teams actually TRY to win but can't because they lack talent. That's what the draft is for, to improve your talent base. You seem to be assuming that most teams tank on purpose and want to penalize them for missing the playoffs.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:20 am

Barnstable wrote:Don't like the idea of no draft. I was just thinking about it, and came up with the idea below

My basic idea is three pronged....

1. Increase the payout for the top seeded playoff teams so they get a much higher payout.

2. Playoff teams should have a much higher chance for a high draft pick, with the highest chance being the #8 spot in each conference, then #7, and so on, but...

3. any team that doesn't make the playoffs have a much higher salary cap for the next season.

The only way this works is if the percentage disparity between a playoff team and a non-playoff team's chances for a high pick is huge, but the percentages between the #8 spot and the #1 spot are much lower but the payout for going deep into the playoffs is higher.

(This is an example of how it would be structured with percentages just off the top of my head, so please just understand the general idea. I'm not married to what each percentage should be):

Playoff teams percentage chance to get the #1 Draft Pick
#8= 90%
#7= 80%
#6= 70%
#5= 60%
#4= 50%
#3= 40%
#2= 30%
#1= 20%
non playoff teams percentage chance to get the #1 Draft Pick
#9= 10%
#10= 9%
#11= 8%
#12= 7%
#13= 6%
etc...
etc...



This is balanced because there is no incentive to tank to get the No.8 spot because the higher your spot the more revenue you get for the playoffs and going deeper, but you still have a better chance of getting a high draft pick. And if you try to tank for No.8, there's a chance you miss the playoffs all together.

You now have incentive to make the playoffs because if you don't, the only way you get out of the bottom is to pay for a better team... but you can now do this with a higher cap giving you a better chance at signing multiple veteran free agents to get you out of the hole. The only tanking I can see is on the last few days of the season where a team might see if they lose the last game or two, they are guaranteed to get he No.8 spot but mathematically would still be in the playoffs. Tanking a few games would still be better than tanking a whole season, so I think this is a better plan.

Still not even 10% fleshed out, and the percentages would have to be well considered, but I think the over all idea could work.

What do you guys think?


The year a LeBron or Griffin comes out of the draft and teams are near the 7th and 8th seeds, there would be all the incentive in the world to finish 8th. The last few weeks of a season would be centered around teams trying to figure out how to finish 8th. In basketball, as we all know, a great player can impact the game more than any other sport.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby therealdeal on Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:31 am

Lets Go Lakers wrote:The year a LeBron or Griffin comes out of the draft and teams are near the 7th and 8th seeds, there would be all the incentive in the world to finish 8th. The last few weeks of a season would be centered around teams trying to figure out how to finish 8th. In basketball, as we all know, a great player can impact the game more than any other sport.

How is that any different or any worse than a team tanking the ENTIRE SEASON for one of those players?
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby Lets Go Lakers on Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:15 am

therealdeal wrote:
Lets Go Lakers wrote:The year a LeBron or Griffin comes out of the draft and teams are near the 7th and 8th seeds, there would be all the incentive in the world to finish 8th. The last few weeks of a season would be centered around teams trying to figure out how to finish 8th. In basketball, as we all know, a great player can impact the game more than any other sport.

How is that any different or any worse than a team tanking the ENTIRE SEASON for one of those players?


Well, the team with the worst record in the league has only a 25% chance of getting the top pick while the 2nd worst record has only a 20% chance of getting the top pick and so on. Barns' scenario has the 8th seed has having a 90% chance of getting the top seed. Those percentages are much, much higher than the current system.

With the current system, no matter how badly a team "tanks", they are not guaranteed anything. That's why the lottery prevents a team from all out tanking.
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Re: Report: NBA considering doing away with draft lottery

Postby therealdeal on Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:34 am

But it doesn't prevent it. Teams have been doing it and doing it unsuccessfully forever. Charlotte has been to the playoffs I think once since their inception.

Teams are still tanking because there's no real incentive not to. Money sharing means they get paid anyway, they're making enough money out of the team to let it continue it's current path. At least in Barn's idea there's double incentives to make the playoffs and present a team that's at the very least competitive.
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