Posted December 23, 2013

Report: NBA considering replacing draft lottery with ‘wheel’ system

NBA
NBA draft (Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

The Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2013 draft lottery. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

With tanking becoming such a big issue in the NBA, the league may float a proposal to owners sometime in 2014 to eliminate the draft lottery and replace it with a wheel system, according to Zach Lowe of Grantland.com.

The proposal, which was submitted to the league by a team official, would give teams a set draft position every year.

Teams would draft in the top-6 every five seasons and have at least one top-12 pick in every four-year span.

The picture below details a team’s choices for a 30-year period, beginning with the top pick and working clockwise.

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Top officials in the league office have expressed early opposition to the proposal, sources told Lowe, but it has intrigued some as a way to eliminate tanking, because a team’s place in the standings would have no bearing on its draft position.


73 comments
IvanCorrieri
IvanCorrieri

14 middle teams: (Picks 1-14) The worst playoff team(combined regular season and playoff record) has the highest chance (25%) of the 1st pick with the ping pong balls.

Bottom 10 teams: (Picks 15-24) (the worst team gets #15 automatically and so on)

Best 6 teams: Picks 25-30 (6th best team gets #25 and so on) (the two teams in the finals, the two losers in the conference finals and the 2 best losing teams in the 2nd round. 

The entire 2nd round pick is worst-to-best order.

If you try to compete you get rewarded. However, this system also makes sure that the best teams in the league don't get a huge advantage either.  If you're bad you get a middling pick, if you try but are not the best 6 teams you're rewarded with the lottery.

Celtic18
Celtic18

I think Parker or Wiggins could be stars in the NBA, but at a minimum will be solid NBA players.  That's about all you can hope for in a draft.  The thing I'm tired of is watching the same teams collecting top 5 draft picks and making nothing of them.  I'm a Celtics fan so I'm biased, but if you gave the Celtics a top 5 pick every other year and they'd always be heading to the finals.  That goes the same for the Lakers and many other NBA teams.  But, these constant lottery teams never get any better and are just wasting the picks.  

tledoux11
tledoux11

Tanking doesn't work. See Cleveland, Sacramento, Washington, Toronto etc...How many times have these teams had a top 5 pick only to be competing for a top 5 pick as well for the next year only to lose said top 5 pick to a well run team through free agency (LeBron, Bosh, Melo, CP3 etc...). Even the year that the Celtics were accused of tanking they went out and bought Rondo and KG. I'm a Pacer fan and would love to see MY Pacers win 70 games. That would include several teams to tank so Tank, Baby, Tank!!!! Plus, does anyone think that Parker or Wiggins is the next Ewing, Duncan or LeBron? Be serious folks.

ScottHoward
ScottHoward

The best idea is to get rid of about 5 teams (bye bye Toronto, Charlotte and New Orleans) and have a relegation system.   That is the only way to prevent tanking.   Welcome to the NBA Ft Wayne Mad Ants.

Celtic18
Celtic18

BETTER IDEA:  The league should place a limit on the amount of times a team can go into the top 5 of the lottery.  So, an organization can only get a top 5 pick say twice in a five year span.  That way, all of these bum teams that keep tanking and selecting top talent every year will be prevented from doing so and will be required to manage their clubs better than they are presently doing.  It seems like at the present time the league rewards bad organizations for mismanagement by giving them the top draft talent year in and year out.  And they still never win with it.  

Pope1944
Pope1944

Just go back to the old system, worst record gets first pick.  I think it would be hugely entertaining to watch two or three teams trying to tank for the best pick.  It might tick off their fans but think of all the teams struggling for a playoff spot, they would love to play someone who is losing on purpose.  The current system sucks and the proposal sucks.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

What not a tug-of-war between all the teams? Seed 1-30 by a draw. Single elimination. The winner gets the top seed. Makes as much sense as this.

Richard40
Richard40

This is stupid.   Absolutely stupid.



pamperofirpo
pamperofirpo

The wheel will not work.

A better idea is to have a pure lottery for the top five picks each year. A team can choose to participate in the lottery for the year, or decline.

The "catch" is that each team can only receive a top five pick every five years. After the first five picks, the draft reverts to the norm...drafting in inverse order based on the previous year's record.

This would give every team a chance to have a top five pick within a five year span.

2001mark
2001mark

Might this not create a new type of free agency coming out of college?  Guys staying later or coming out early depending on the franchise draft wheel order.


If the Bucks are at #1 this year & Lakers next, a Wiggins for example would probably just stay in school & screw over a weaker franchise in lieu of a more glamorous one.

JonBuch
JonBuch

The current system is fine.

horsley1953
horsley1953

There is a much simpler way to eliminate tanking: Base the draft odds on a 5 year running average rather than just the previous year. No one is going to keep selling tickets if they tank for 5 years straight.

wonderlandpaul
wonderlandpaul

I suggest a modified system where draft based on worst picking first, etc. not be totally abandoned. Instead, each year after the season ends, there be a coin flip to determine whether the "wheel" is used or  team record is used for that year's draft. I don't think a team would take the chance of tanking and then finding they get a really bad pick. (I would suggest keeping current weighted lottery for years when the coin flip results in team record format). This way there is a bit of relief for a team that is bad every year, at least  statistically.  Wheel system's weakness is obviously an elite team could have the rights the draft LeBron James type player and dominate the league for years and years. Oh wait, that already happens. 

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dt
dt

Pfft.  You know what would be a better system than this wheel or whatever?  Flip the order what-team-gets-what-picks.  You want to motivate coaches and players?  The team with the best record that misses the playoffs get the highest chances, but not 25%.  Lower the odds.

FanMan99488
FanMan99488

Yes, Dwayne Wade is a chronic juicer.  He has the jaws of an acromegalic giant.  It's a joke that the NBA doesn't seem to care in the least.

FanMan99488
FanMan99488

The color commentators were saying the Atlanta player who led with an elbow when he went for a layup and cut Bosh's lip should have been called for an offensive foul because he led with an elbow.  Yet they have no problem with Lebron leading with his thick knees every time he drives the lane for a dunk.

josebier
josebier

This seems like a joke. So there is a small chance that an NBA team that wins the championship MIGHT get the first overall pick??? Who came up with this anyways? I am curious to know

John99uRedding
John99uRedding

The change the NBA needs to make is in it's drug policy.  DWade is a habitual juicer but the league turns it's head because he's a league star and a cash cow.


And why is Lebron allowed to go barreling in knees first every time he drives the lane for a dunk.  Defenders are afraid to get in the way because he could hurt them pretty bad with his knee extended like it always is.  It's more dangerous than throwing an elbow.

doublejtrain68
doublejtrain68

It doesn't matter. The draft lottery is fixed anyway. How convenient for Patrick Ewing to go to the Knicks when they sucked and needed a marquee star in the big New York market; Tim Duncan to the Spurs to replace the aging David Robinson and play alongside him, plus the Spurs had the best of the worst records that year and normally they are always picking at the bottom of the lottery; LeBron to the Cavs (in his home state and near his hometown) and Chicago native Derrick Rose to the Bulls. Explain that! 

JohnSomers
JohnSomers

I like Mike Greenburg's plan.

Keep the lottery system but slant it the opposite way.

The team who just misses the playoffs has the best chance of winning the lottery, and the team with the worst record has the least chance of winning.

Joe R2
Joe R2

They should consider drastic officiating changes first.  The refs pretty much control who wins championships.

Psy Power
Psy Power

Make eight scrub teams play-off for draft positions in a round-robin tourney after the season. Have the games played at a "small college" gym and have tickets cost ten bucks. Make the losers actually win games to get a better draft pick.

Greg32
Greg32

Want to stop "tanking", simple:

At the end of the season, the last place team has the dollar value on contracts of ALL personnel cut in half.  This would allow the team to improve their talent pool, and it gives players & coaches motivation to play their guts out to at LEAST not finish last.  One could argue "big benefit to the team owner, but if the players AND coaches disagree, an owner can't make a team "tank" it on his own.

MMoney0021
MMoney0021

Hate to say it but there is nothing wrong with tanking in the NBA.  Blame a system with no hard cap that allows a team to sign 3 max contracts.  Tanking is the only way that a team has a chance to get a superstar in a small market.  Having a lottery does not even guarantee that the worst team who is tanking will even get that corner stone player.  So I see nothing wrong with the current system.

Brian Barker
Brian Barker

The NBA just hates small market teams, just come out and say it. The only way they can win is to reload during the draft, a la OKC Thunder. The Lakers and Knicks can easily afford the tax on players over the salary cap. Why isn't there anything on the books for a hard salary cap? And does this hinder the NBA? As an Orlando fan, I much rather see them suck and get the chance at a Wiggins, then sit through a decade of Buck and Piston esque mediocrity. 

MichaelWallis1
MichaelWallis1

@Celtic18, well, I remember Golden State and the Clippers being perennial NBA lottery teams as well as the Mavericks. Now look at how good they have become with the Mavericks winning an NBA title in 2011. 

MichaelWallis1
MichaelWallis1

@tledoux11 remember how bad the Spurs were before Tim Duncan arrived? I didn't think so because it's been so long since they were bad. 

MichaelWallis1
MichaelWallis1

@Celtic18, well, I look at it this way, the bad ball clubs need all the help they can get to turn it around. 

MichaelWallis1
MichaelWallis1

@Pope1944, no there was one season where the Magic did receive the number one pick two years in a row. Do you think that's really fair to the rest of the NBA? 

JoelManers
JoelManers

@horsley1953 I've thought the same thing for years. But I would probably go with a 3 year average. Either way, the concept is easy to understand and implement. I think most fans would go for it. Look at what happened to Chicago the year they got Rose. They had one bad year due to injury. What would happen if Miami lost Wade and James for the season? They would be horrible and get the first pick in the draft the following season to play along with a healthy lineup. How fair is that?

jb22
jb22

@FanMan99488 why are you posting the same garbage posts that are totally unrelated to the topic under multiple accounts?  Get a life

Unicornhunter
Unicornhunter

@doublejtrain68 I'll explain it, your stats are complete BS.  The Spurs had the 3rd worst record when they got Duncan, not the "best of the worst" as you claim.  The Cavs had the worst record when they got Lebron, If you had half a brain you would understand basic statistics, and know that there is a better chance of the worst team not getting the top pick, even though the have the best individual chance.  Ewing was the only one that was probably fixed, once in 30 years.  Stick the the 9/11 and JFK conspiracies.

WCoastPro
WCoastPro

@Joe R2 It's actually the players who have the most control. 

But when your favorite team doesn't win, yes blame the refs! They're all puppets who want the Spurs to win as much as possible! Why? I don't know because they can!  


bserious
bserious

@Greg32 A, that is as likely to happen as at the end of the season, all the personnel of the last place team will be executed. B, tanking isn't about players giving up as much it's about management getting a bunch of stiffs who can't compete.  Your solution wouldn't do anything about that.

jdane
jdane

@MMoney0021 Nothing wrong with it, except asking fans to pay for non-competitive games. (Of course, this is what they apparently want exclusively in the NCAAF).

jdane
jdane

@Brian Barker "The NBA" isn't an entity with an opinion, and therefore, cannot support the paranoia of a small market fan base.

TheDistrict
TheDistrict

@Brian Barker The NFL figured out that they needed to create a national game and also that you can't just condemn most markets to being also-rans for decades. Just another reason why the NFL absolutely dominates the US sports market and the NBA and MLB are so far behind. Just take a look at the ratings - preseason NFL  games will get higher ratings than NBA and MLB playoff games and in some markets, the NBA Finals and World Series.

O
O

@JoelManers @horsley1953 

It is basically how a strong San Antonio picked Tim Duncan.  David Robinson goes down for the year, and the rest of the team tanked.  I agree with you gentlemen on an average.

goingaways
goingaways

@jb22 @FanMan99488 UH because he is a loser??? lets start there and then we can move on to the fact that he lives in his mothers basement and has not taken a shower in years!!!

ScottHoward
ScottHoward

@WCoastPro @Joe R2 Who needs the refs when you have such a "great" coach in Pop who sits his Hall of Famers at crucial championship moments?  

Bobnipotent
Bobnipotent

@WCoastPro @Joe R2 The naive, such as yourself, powers the league.  Think for a moment how hard the NBA tried to block Tim Donaghy's book, and you'll understand it's validity.

Greg32
Greg32

@bserious While I realize it would never happen, I'd point out that in 1995 the San Antonio Spurs went 59 - 23 and finished 1st in their division.  In 1996 Robinson only played 6 games and the Spurs went on to a 20 - 62 record, earned the #1 draft pick, got Tim Duncan and the next year went 56 - 26. 


Without Michael Jordan, the bulls went from 57 - 25 to 55 - 27.  I realize the East wasn't as rough as the West back then, but do you really believe that David Robinson was worth 40 games and so much more than Michael Jordan? 


Also, while the difference between first and last IS stars vs. stiffs, the difference between last and second to last is a level of effort and commitment.  Yeah, no amount of "want to" would've made last year's Magic a threat to Miami, but it could have made the difference between Orlando and Charlotte.  If you can't make your team competitive for SECOND to last place, maybe you shouldn't be playing NBA ball as a career.

JulesG
JulesG

@Bobnipotent@WCoastPro@Joe R2So it couldn't be because of perception? it just had to be because he said something in the book that exposed everything wrong with the NBA's officiating, right? That is like saying that a woman who doesn't want her ex to expose her nude pictures is because she is hiding her being a wh&re....right?

TheDistrict
TheDistrict

@jdane @TheDistrict @Brian Barker Yes, when you're comparing an an average baseball game in June versus the NFL playoffs I see your point. But not a meaningless preseason game and the NBA Finals or World Series.