Possible New NBA Draft Lottery Rules Will Be Voted on By Owners

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[ESPN] Currently, the teams with the three worst records have an ascending chance of winning the No. 1 pick, including (No. 3) 15.6 percent, (No. 2) 19.9 percent and (No. 1) 25 percent.

The NBA’s proposal would flatten those odds and give the three teams with the worst record the same percentage of earning the No. 1 overall pick, league sources said. Now, the worst record to the fifth-worst record is a gap of 25 percent to 8.8 percent, but new legislation would tighten that difference significantly, league sources said.

So here’s some significant news coming out in the NBA. Everyone blasts teams for tanking as it’s been a thing for some years now. The NBA is looking to rectify that by adjusting the lottery process. To start, the 3 worst teams would have the same percentage instead of the variance that we see now. The other important thing here is the odds would decrease more smoothly after the top-3 unlike what we see now where it’s 25% to 8.8% from 1st to fifth.

This draft lottery reform is scheduled to be voted on this month by the owners, but not implemented until the 2019 NBA Draft. So what’s significant about this and do we like it or not? Personally, I’m not necessarily a huge fan of the possible change. First, tanking is a risk. There’s no guarantee you hit the lottery or that the pick works out. There’s no guarantee another team doesn’t tank better than you. So, I don’t think you’re necessarily rewarding tanking in the current structure.

The way the reform reads it will set up for even more tanking. Throw in the fact now you just have to be in the top-3 to have the same odds for the No. 1 pick, the other key here is the floor of where you can pick. For instance now the worst team in the league can’t pick lower than No. 4. The reform reads that you can drop a spot lower, from No. 4 to No. 5. That means getting one of the worst 3 records becomes even more important. If you are eliminated from playoff contention, teams can tank even harder during the last month of the season.

Now the pros of this I see in two different ways. One being teams that are sort of middling have a better chance now of making the jump. Those young teams that are slightly improving year over year have better odds for another top pick despite finishing say with the 6th worst record. Imagine if this was in place for this coming season and a team like the Kings (young team that is expected to improve) could get a Marvin Bagley or Luka Doncic type player.

The other pro here is I see more value in picks, meaning potential for more trades. A first round draft pick for these guys are now that much more valuable and we’ve seen teams jump at the chance for a top-5 pick. We can have more of that now and teams looking to win now trading like we saw with Kyrie and the Celtics. The other key for this is the fact that there is a push to vote as well on not letting a team pick back-to-back in the top-3. Again, that throws a loop in how valuable picks are and could truly change teams tanking. However, that’s not officially up for voting in the late September meeting, but is being considered.

So what do you say? In favor of the reform or just leave the lottery process as is?

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