I saw an interesting article on Sports Illustrated by Jeremy Woo that discussed how National Basketball League Commissioner Adam Silver wants to change the draft lottery. Simply put, he wants to eliminate tanking, which is detrimental to the fans and the league.
As the rule stands now, teams with the worst record can pick no later than fourth in the draft. So if a team like the 76ers know in February that they are not making the playoffs they might be inclined to tank the rest of the season so that they can get the first draft pick, thus giving them a better chance to actually win the following year. But that’s not a fair system because lately it seems like the same teams are constantly hovering with the worst record and getting the first pick year after year.
The new system as laid out in Woo’s article would run as follows: the team with the worst record would fall lower into the draft order thus evening the odds for the three teams with the worst records to have an equal chance at the first pick. This would help give teams an incentive to actually play the rest of their season and finish with the best record they can and thus eliminate tanking.
I’m all for changing the NBA Draft Lottery system because it’s not fun for me as someone who enjoys watching the drafts see the same teams picking the best players and then doing absolutely nothing with those players. Look at Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, those two had immense talent in college but the moment they were drafted they failed to stay healthy and actually be good for the 76ers.
I also think that the best NBA talents are not the guys taken in the first two picks, but the guys that play for teams like the San Antonio Spurs and Warriors because of the systems of those teams. Guys have a better change of succeeding on teams that have winning mentalities and stress the importance of leaving it all on the floor. So if this new rule is going to stop teams from putting in minimum effort and actually giving their fans the show they paid good money for, than by all means let’s do it.
Fans deserve better than constantly supporting teams tanking to get the best players that are not going to help the team. So it’s beyond time to do whatever it takes to completely eliminate tanking and make the lottery system an even playing field.