Your turn: How does the NBA fix tanking?

May 21, 2015, 1:30 PM | Updated: 1:30 pm


Earlier this week, I asked you for your opinions on what needs to happen to the draft lottery. Here’s a sample of some with varying degrees of opinions.

I love the idea. It’s the way the draft lottery used to be. The worst place to be in the NBA is a #9 or #10 seed. Those teams have no chance to win the lottery since they are given few ping pong ball combinations, making a rebuild difficult. Moreover, 82 games have proven those teams have too many flaws to be a championship contender, let alone a playoff team. Your idea destroys all incentive to lose.

A little extreme, but if you change the numbers to bottom three for five years, maybe I’ll convert.

This is crazy but if you have a hard salary cap, it just might work. Championship teams will be naturally closer to the cap so they could offer very little versus a team like Minnesota. It would also force GMs to scout players years in advance to time out salary cap space for the better drafts.

I also like how it tests the incoming rookie. The rookie says, “I just want to win,” and then signs a contract with Philly. A true winner would accept a low deal with the Spurs or Warriors. If you want to win, you must accept less money and fewer minutes. All the popularity is in the high-profile teams. So, would a rookie accept a big contract to small-market Sacramento with no chance of winning and limited endorsement potential, but plenty of playing time?

I think the idea of no draft is brilliant because as long as there’s a hard cap, the market would control the spending. However, it would never happen for one simple reason: marketing. The NBA is never going to give up the stage as the only piece of entertaining sports television at the end of June. The NBA Draft is the only element of sports that the NFL hasn’t taken over. In a league that needs flash, the NBA Draft easily fulfills that role.

I’m sticking with my idea. Keep the draft lottery exactly how it is in terms of odds of winning and the 14 ping pong balls. However, the team with the best winning percentage from the time they are eliminated from the playoffs until the end of the regular season gets the most lottery combinations. If your team keeps losing, they have less chance to secure high pick.

It’s a myth that winning the lottery automatically means a franchise is now relevant. Great teams are built through great drafts. That doesn’t mean high picks mean great drafts. If a team drafts Darko Milicic with the second overall pick, did they really win the draft lottery? The draft lottery does not directly lead to a positive team rebuild. Good drafts do. The lottery in its current form only leads to tanking.


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Your turn: How does the NBA fix tanking?