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NBA Draft Lottery Reform Alternatives


I posted this before, but since we're discussing the lottery again, here it is for reconsideration. Even though any system has its flaws and ways to be exploited, I think I've eliminated most of the glaring flaws, and I feel any weakness here is still more preferable than any of the other options proposed.


http://basketballfix...y-once-and.html
The only way to attack the problem of tanking is to incentivize winning at all costs, no matter your current record. The best teams want homecourt advantage, the middling teams want to make the playoffs, and now we can get the dregs of the league to compete at the highest level as well. It could actually make an end of season game between Milwaukee and Philadelphia must-see TV, an exciting contest where the losers would be heartbroken instead of slyly patting themselves on the back for out-tanking their "rival."


And with this fiercely competitive race for either the top of the league or the top of the bowels of the league, we can in fact still keep the grand spectacle of the lottery alive, with all the intrigue and mystery of where a team will pick. Except this mystery could be more inclusive of all the lottery teams, instead of just the top 3 picks.



In my proposal, there will still be a lottery drawing for the top 3 positions, except instead of basing it on pure luck, it shall instead be based on the hard work and success of the teams who don't make the playoffs.


How does a team qualify for a top 3 chance in the draft? On the day that a team is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, they are then officially on the lottery clock to win as many games as possible until the end of the season. At the end of the year, you just tally up all the wins of the non-playoff teams, with the 3 winningest teams put in a lottery drawing with even, 33% odds to determine the 1st pick. Then there will be a draw between the remaining two teams for the 2nd pick, with the last team getting the 3rd.


As for the rest of the non-playoff teams, their wins still count to determine the draft positions. The team with the next most wins will get the 4th position, and then 5th position, and so on until all 14 positions are filled. Where this can get exciting and mysterious is when there is a tie between teams. To keep this process as simple as possible, whenever there is a tie in the amount of wins (whether it is 2, 3, 4, or more teams), each of the tied teams are put in their own small drawing with even odds to determine the next picks, until all of those tied teams are placed. After the last tied team is placed, the process will then continue with the placement of the next winningest team, and for every tie, there will be another mini drawing.

(If there is a tie amongst the top 3 winningest teams - such as 4 teams tying for the most wins, or perhaps 3 teams tied for 3rd place - then we would include each of these teams in the drawing for the top 3 picks, with the remainder of the teams being placed as described above.)


This system will completely change the competitiveness of the league from top to bottom, from mid season to the end. If you're eliminated early and don't win, then you will end up with a much lower pick. This is also the most fair system to every team, as the worse teams will be eliminated first and have more chances and opportunities to collect wins, while the better teams who compete for the playoffs until the last day will not be able to get many wins, and thus placed near the bottom of the lottery (where they were likely to end up in the old system anyway).


To best illustrate this new lottery system, lets just look at this past season to see how the teams would rank. Here are each of the lottery teams, with their date of elimination and how many wins they achieved afterwards. (If a team is eliminated for any reason on a particular day, but still wins their game that day, then this counts for their final total.)


Lakers (3/14): 5
Milwaukee (3/15): 2
Utah (3/15): 3
Sacramento (3/16): 5
Philadelphia (3/18): 4
Orlando (3/25): 4
Denver (3/26): 4
New Orleans (3/24): 5
Boston (3/31): 2
Minnesota (4/4): 3
Detroit (4/6): 1
Cleveland (4/9): 2
New York (4/12): 3
Phoenix (4/14): 1


5 win teams: Lakers, Sacramento, New Orleans
4 win teams: Philadelphia, Orlando, Denver
3 win teams: Utah, Minnesota, New York
2 win teams: Milwaukee, Boston, Cleveland
1 win teams: Detroit, Phoenix


Because the Lakers, Sacramento, and New Orleans won the most games after elimination, then only these 3 teams are eligible for the top 3 picks. The first drawing will involve an even, 33% chance of getting the first pick. If Sacramento wins the drawing for #1, then there will be another drawing for the second pick. If New Orleans gets drawn next, then the Lakers will automatically be awarded the #3 pick. This justly rewards the teams that actually tried to win the most games at the end of the year, instead of trying to pile up losses to get the most ping pong balls. If you want to join this 1st Drawing Club, just win baby!


The 4th pick will then be determined by the team that won the next most games. However, there is a tie between Philadelphia, Orlando, and Denver for this honor. Thus, there will be another drawing between these 3 teams, again with even, 33% odds. If Denver is pulled 1st, they will get the #4 pick, and the drawing for #5 will be between Orlando and Philadelphia. If Orlando is drawn, then the #6 pick will go to Philadelphia.


Picks #7, #8, and #9 will be determined by another 3 team drawing between Utah, Minnesota and New York. Likewise, picks #10, #11, and #12 will be determined by a 3 team drawing between Milwaukee, Boston, and Cleveland (who finally won't be able to pay luck their way to another #1 pick).


As for pick #13, since there is yet another tie, then there will be one last drawing with even, 50% odds between Detroit and Phoenix.


I assume going forward that there will be much more winning amongst the non playoff teams, and there likely will be less ties as well. However, the new lottery system will be able to place teams appropriately into their draft slot based on pure, competitive wins, and nothing more. There still is a little luck involved with the top 3 winning teams and any other tie breakers, and this will still create a lot of fun on lottery night in seeing who falls where.


And while I'm sure there are probably a few flaws that may be pointed out in the future, it will never be as flawed as the current system (or the crazy wheel system, or a straight NFL style draft). Tanking will finally end, conspiracy theories will end, competitiveness will be raised, winning will be rewarded, cats and dogs will play together, the Middle East will be peaceful at last, and eternal youth will finally be achieved. Why wouldn't the NBA want eternal youth?



  • 35 Comments

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    QC Thundercats
    Oct 22 2014 11:42 AM
    I still think my idea would solve all the problems, and incentivize winning at all levels.

    I just don't know how to get it to any of the rainmakers, since no team or writer publishes their emails anymore, and unsolicited mail goes right into the dumpster. Sure, providing a twitter handle is cute and all, but how can you convey a complex idea in 140 characters?

    Anybody have Zach Lowes email? He seems to follow this closer than the other writers.
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    @JPlowright_NBA
    Oct 22 2014 11:45 AM

    I can get the idea through to a few people such as Joe Kotoch (Pro Basketball Draft) Mike Prada (SB Nation) and Zach Harper (CBS Sports)? Don't know if you wanted bigger than that though...

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    InProblematique
    Oct 22 2014 12:19 PM

    If the draft reform was the one I read being proposed, I would have said no, too. 

     

    Keep it simple, stupid.

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    QC Thundercats
    Oct 22 2014 12:36 PM

    I can get the idea through to a few people such as Joe Kotoch (Pro Basketball Draft) Mike Prada (SB Nation) and Zach Harper (CBS Sports)? Don't know if you wanted bigger than that though...



    Yeah, sure, that would work. I'd send it to Silver himself if I could, but he might be slightly harder to reach.
    To me the solution would be to put a cap on consecutive years in the top 5.

    If you have a top 5 pick, you should be kept out of the top 5 for the next 2 drafts. That would eliminate the Philly situation and it would have eliminated 15 years of the clippers wasting top 5 picks.

    I like the Wheel idea in theory. It would be fun to have every team try to win as many games as they could.

    I like the Wheel idea in theory. It would be fun to have every team try to win as many games as they could.

     

    I have a feeling the wheel's biggest contribution will be a noticeable increase in the amount of bad teams overpaying for roleplayers in an all-in chase for 35 wins. It's going to encourage the kind of "Tobias Harris for two months of JJ Reddick, $8 million a year for OJ Mayo" front office decisions that used to be the Bucks' calling card. 

    I have a feeling the wheel's biggest contribution will be a noticeable increase in the amount of bad teams overpaying for roleplayers in an all-in chase for 35 wins. It's going to encourage the kind of "Tobias Harris for two months of JJ Reddick, $8 million a year for OJ Mayo" front office decisions that used to be the Bucks' calling card. 

     

    but is the worst thing watching competitive basketball? much better than watching the celtics or 76ers this year. particularly the 6ers. i can guarantee that the only minutes of 6ers and celtics games i watch this season are when they are playing the hornets. and this year i have league pass so i could watch more.

    but is the worst thing watching competitive basketball? much better than watching the celtics or 76ers this year. particularly the 6ers. i can guarantee that the only minutes of 6ers and celtics games i watch this season are when they are playing the hornets. and this year i have league pass so i could watch more.

     

    Again, if by competitive basketball you mean the Brandon Jennings-era Bucks......well, that depends on personal preferences. I'd much rather watch the couple of good young players Boston has while they develop, as well as seeing if the likes of Rondo, Jeff Green, and Evan Turner can do anything interesting, than be locked into a 30-odd win roster with two years of picking in the twenties dead ahead of me. The wheel proposal isn't going to stop teams from being bad, it's just going to make every year about this year and this year only while removing any advantage the bad teams have in rebuilding through the draft. 

     

    I remain convinced that, should the wheel proposal ever be implemented, the biggest winners will be the veterans who aren't stars, but are also better than your run-of-the-mill bench players as well. Basically, guys like Gerald Henderson, who'll be looking at a much stronger free-agent market once the couple of stars available every year clear out. 

    Again, if by competitive basketball you mean the Brandon Jennings-era Bucks......well, that depends on personal preferences. I'd much rather watch the couple of good young players Boston has while they develop, as well as seeing if the likes of Rondo, Jeff Green, and Evan Turner can do anything interesting, than be locked into a 30-odd win roster with two years of picking in the twenties dead ahead of me. The wheel proposal isn't going to stop teams from being bad, it's just going to make every year about this year and this year only while removing any advantage the bad teams have in rebuilding through the draft. 
     
    I remain convinced that, should the wheel proposal ever be implemented, the biggest winners will be the veterans who aren't stars, but are also better than your run-of-the-mill bench players as well. Basically, guys like Gerald Henderson, who'll be looking at a much stronger free-agent market once the couple of stars available every year clear out.

    Isn't Jeff green and Evan turner the same thing as Brandon Jennings just different uni?
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    BrotherDave
    Oct 23 2014 12:45 PM

    Good.  The Draft is fine as it is.  All the Sixers have done is draft BPA regardless of whether they can play immediately, trade/not resign dead weight from the previous regime and not overpay overrated FAs.  All sound basketball decisions.  Unfortunately the result is a 2-3 year span of awful basketball fueled by inexperienced players and D-league fodder but that's just what they had to do.  This system works for small market teams if those teams draft well and punishes tankers if they don't draft well.  

     

    Charlotte tanked as hard as anybody, got bad lottery luck, didn't particularly draft well but still managed to build a competent franchise out of the old Silas roster.  A team like the KIngs on the other hand, are so inept that the draft is basically irrelevant.  Good organizations like the Spurs and Thunder can draft well in this system regardless of their position because teams like the Kings and Cavs whiff on top picks all the time.  Basically, if your FO is good, your team will be good, if your FO is awful your team will be awful and if your FO is mediocre than your team will be mediocre.  The draft system currently rewards good orgs and punishes bad ones, end of story.

    Good.  The Draft is fine as it is.  All the Sixers have done is draft BPA regardless of whether they can play immediately, trade/not resign dead weight from the previous regime and not overpay overrated FAs.  All sound basketball decisions.  Unfortunately the result is a 2-3 year span of awful basketball fueled by inexperienced players and D-league fodder but that's just what they had to do.  This system works for small market teams if those teams draft well and punishes tankers if they don't draft well.  

     

    Charlotte tanked as hard as anybody, got bad lottery luck, didn't particularly draft well but still managed to build a competent franchise out of the old Silas roster.  A team like the KIngs on the other hand, are so inept that the draft is basically irrelevant.  Good organizations like the Spurs and Thunder can draft well in this system regardless of their position because teams like the Kings and Cavs whiff on top picks all the time.  Basically, if your FO is good, your team will be good, if your FO is awful your team will be awful and if your FO is mediocre than your team will be mediocre.  The draft system currently rewards good orgs and punishes bad ones, end of story.

     

     

    I don't like arguing with anyone with that avatar but this is an absurd take on the current system.   The system is a failure in the one task it sets out to accomplish.   Tankers still exist, and will forever exist as long as there is a prize to be tanked for.  Put in a system that is fair and remove all doubt of foul play.   Worst record gets the first pick.  

     

    Isn't Jeff green and Evan turner the same thing as Brandon Jennings just different uni?

     

    Jeff Green's a holdover from the previous iteration of the Celtics, when he was a sixth man on a playoff team, and Evan Turner's a reclamation project they got off the scrap heap for half of what Gerald Henderson is making. It's one thing to have guys left over from a contender that got old or to sign someone on the cheap because there's nothing to lose. It's another to get into a bidding war for those same players because they're all that's left on the market and you HAVE to sign someone. 

     

    I don't like arguing with anyone with that avatar but this is an absurd take on the current system.   The system is a failure in the one task it sets out to accomplish.   Tankers still exist, and will forever exist as long as there is a prize to be tanked for.  Put in a system that is fair and remove all doubt of foul play.   Worst record gets the first pick.  

     

    That's just going to make tanking worse, as someone could guarantee themselves a top overall pick through aggressive thanking.

     

     

     

    Jeff Green's a holdover from the previous iteration of the Celtics, when he was a sixth man on a playoff team, and Evan Turner's a reclamation project they got off the scrap heap for half of what Gerald Henderson is making. It's one thing to have guys left over from a contender that got old or to sign someone on the cheap because there's nothing to lose. It's another to get into a bidding war for those same players because they're all that's left on the market and you HAVE to sign someone. 

     

     

    That's just going to make tanking worse, as someone could guarantee themselves a top overall pick through aggressive thanking.

     

     

    from a ticket purchaser and tv consumer (the folks that make the league run) the 76ers team this year is a disgrace. it hurts the league. the same way the 2011 bobcats were. it is not a good product. watching competent basketball players play is far more entertaining. here is an idea i posted on realgm.

     

    the worst 6 teams in the lottery have to "give back" to the fans the following year for suffering through the previous year's garbage performances.

    worst team: 20% discount in ticket prices across the board
    2nd worst: 16%
    3rd: 14%
    4th: 12%
    5th: 8%
    6th: 5%
    teams 7-14: can not raise ticket prices the following year

    also like the repeater tax the discount is a repeater tax so if you are the worst team two years in a row the 20% discount is from the previous year's prices. if you finish outside of lottery you can raise prices to "industry standard"

    also, a 3 time top 5 worst record team begins to give back revenue sharing money.

     

    it would really make an owner think hard about putting out a terrible product.

    from a ticket purchaser and tv consumer (the folks that make the league run) the 76ers team this year is a disgrace. it hurts the league. the same way the 2011 bobcats were. it is not a good product. watching competent basketball players play is far more entertaining. here is an idea i posted on realgm.

     

    the worst 6 teams in the lottery have to "give back" to the fans the following year for suffering through the previous year's garbage performances.

    worst team: 20% discount in ticket prices across the board
    2nd worst: 16%
    3rd: 14%
    4th: 12%
    5th: 8%
    6th: 5%
    teams 7-14: can not raise ticket prices the following year

    also like the repeater tax the discount is a repeater tax so if you are the worst team two years in a row the 20% discount is from the previous year's prices. if you finish outside of lottery you can raise prices to "industry standard"

    also, a 3 time top 5 worst record team begins to give back revenue sharing money.

     

    it would really make an owner think hard about putting out a terrible product.

     

     

    Well, that's certainly not being implemented by a for-profit business. Seems simpler to do something like the proposed lottery reform would have accomplished and remove the bonus for going from regular bad to "as bad as possible". It's like I keep saying - some teams are going to be bad no matter what you do, not everyone can win 50 games. However, if you make it so that there' nothing to be gained by jettisoning every NBA-quality player on the roster it seems to clean up this "Philly problem" quite nicely. 

     

     

    That's just going to make tanking worse, as someone could guarantee themselves a top overall pick through aggressive thanking.

     

     

    Worse?  Who cares?  Its still happening now with a crooked system in place to stop it.   

     

    Tanking has a built in punishment, the lottery system is control.  

    Worse?  Who cares?

     

    Most of the front offices in the league apparently, which is why they're proposing and voting on reform measures. 

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    @JPlowright_NBA
    Oct 23 2014 05:03 PM

    from a ticket purchaser and tv consumer (the folks that make the league run) the 76ers team this year is a disgrace. it hurts the league. the same way the 2011 bobcats were. it is not a good product. watching competent basketball players play is far more entertaining. here is an idea i posted on realgm.

     

    the worst 6 teams in the lottery have to "give back" to the fans the following year for suffering through the previous year's garbage performances.

    worst team: 20% discount in ticket prices across the board
    2nd worst: 16%
    3rd: 14%
    4th: 12%
    5th: 8%
    6th: 5%
    teams 7-14: can not raise ticket prices the following year

    also like the repeater tax the discount is a repeater tax so if you are the worst team two years in a row the 20% discount is from the previous year's prices. if you finish outside of lottery you can raise prices to "industry standard"

    also, a 3 time top 5 worst record team begins to give back revenue sharing money.

     

    it would really make an owner think hard about putting out a terrible product.

     

    The people who would vote that in would be the owners, good luck getting Millionaires to all vote in favour of giving fans their money back

    I have a feeling the wheel's biggest contribution will be a noticeable increase in the amount of bad teams overpaying for roleplayers in an all-in chase for 35 wins. It's going to encourage the kind of "Tobias Harris for two months of JJ Reddick, $8 million a year for OJ Mayo" front office decisions that used to be the Bucks' calling card. 

     

    No, those are just bad trades and that's why the Bucks bottomed out without meaning to do so. The Wheel would require teams to have the best management they can get because they can no longer fall back on the draft and say, hey we were trying to be bad. What's the difference between what the Bucks did and what the Hornets did? The Hornets got good role players/vets, not bad ones.

     

    A more even dispersal of decent quality players would be a good thing - there's a ton of things young guys could learn from the vets and they're no longer expected to come in and be franchise saviors from day one.

     

    Imagine being a team like Charlotte, or Memphis, or Portland and you have a high pick coming up all while still being able to go for the playoffs. We kinda have the situation now with Vonleh and it's awesome. Or imagine the Big 3 Celtics plus Rondo getting a #8 pick or so that could add a ton of energy and help keep their window open. That's an NBA landscape I could fully support.

     

    Embrace it, fellas.

     

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    No, those are just bad trades and that's why the Bucks bottomed out without meaning to do so. The Wheel would require teams to have the best management they can get because they can no longer fall back on the draft and say, hey we were trying to be bad. 

     

    Except the Bucks were already at that point - their whole shtick under Herb Kohl was that they refused to tank and chased an eight seed every season, which is exactly what the wheel crowd wants to see league-wide. This is the thing that I don't think people get: owners don't knowingly hire incapable staff on the rationale that when they fail you'll get a high draft pick. There isn't going to magically be 60 all-stars available to make every team a contender because now the GMs are trying for realsies. There are still going to be well-run franchises and poorly-run franchises, because NBA GM is a very hard job and a few people are way better at it than everyone else, while the wheel just leverages the system further towards the better front-offices in the bigger markets. It makes it much easier to create a permanent upper class of well-run big market teams that agents steer their clients to. 

     

    I mean, as a major media market with a strong front office, it'd be a huge boon for the Celtics (it's not a coincidence they're the ones that came up with it), so it's not like that's where my opposition to it is coming from. I can just very clearly see that the flip side to the Lebron Heat or Kobe's Lakers landing Kyrie Irving (are we so sure that's a good thing, by the way?) is the equivalent of the 2012 Bobcats blowing a top-6 pick and pretty much having to tell their fans "good friggin luck, it's another half-decade until we get a shot like that again". Thus, an increase in the number of bad free agent contracts and panic trades from front offices trying to dig themselves out of the hole of using their once-in-five-years top-six pick on a bench player. 

     

    I mean, imagine being a team like Utah, Milwaukee, or Sacramento, and you're picking twenty-fifth, twenty-third, and fourteenth over the next three years while stuck winning 30% of your games and not having a franchise guy to build around. We've kind of had that situation in the past with the Knicks and it sucked. That's an NBA landscape that small markets literally may not be able to survive. 

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    BrotherDave
    Oct 23 2014 09:17 PM

    I don't like arguing with anyone with that avatar but this is an absurd take on the current system.   The system is a failure in the one task it sets out to accomplish.   Tankers still exist, and will forever exist as long as there is a prize to be tanked for.  Put in a system that is fair and remove all doubt of foul play.   Worst record gets the first pick.  

    Did we get Anthony Davis?  Did the Bucks arguably get the best player out of that draft with the 15th pick?  Were the Cavs really rewarded with the great Anthony Bennett?  If you really suck, you're guaranteed a top 4 pick but not the top pick.  You can't get much fairer than that if you want bad teams to be able to access franchise talent without outright tanking for them.

     

    No matter what draft system is in place, there will always be cellar dwellers that just get their asses whipped by every team in the league regardless of whether they're tanking or just earnestly suck.  The only way you'd have competitive parity is if you restrict the league to like 8 large market teams.  I don't see the point in getting bent out of shape over shitty teams because they "put out a bad product" because those teams will exist regardless of tanking.  At least with teams like Philly you see a coherent long-term plan at work instead of the usual merry-go-round of re-tread coaches and washed up veterans.  I'd much rather watch young guys try hard and develop than watch past-their-prime scrubs delay the inevitable.  I would much rather watch the Bobcats' 7 win season repeatedly than one month of a team built around a washed up Gerald Wallace for instance.

    Except the Bucks were already at that point - their whole shtick under Herb Kohl was that they refused to tank and chased an eight seed every season, which is exactly what the wheel crowd wants to see league-wide. This is the thing that I don't think people get: owners don't knowingly hire incapable staff on the rationale that when they fail you'll get a high draft pick. There isn't going to magically be 60 all-stars available to make every team a contender because now the GMs are trying for realsies. There are still going to be well-run franchises and poorly-run franchises, because NBA GM is a very hard job and a few people are way better at it than everyone else, while the wheel just leverages the system further towards the better front-offices in the bigger markets. It makes it much easier to create a permanent upper class of well-run big market teams that agents steer their clients to. 

     

    I mean, as a major media market with a strong front office, it'd be a huge boon for the Celtics (it's not a coincidence they're the ones that came up with it), so it's not like that's where my opposition to it is coming from. I can just very clearly see that the flip side to the Lebron Heat or Kobe's Lakers landing Kyrie Irving (are we so sure that's a good thing, by the way?) is the equivalent of the 2012 Bobcats blowing a top-6 pick and pretty much having to tell their fans "good friggin luck, it's another half-decade until we get a shot like that again". Thus, an increase in the number of bad free agent contracts and panic trades from front offices trying to dig themselves out of the hole of using their once-in-five-years top-six pick on a bench player. 

     

    I mean, imagine being a team like Utah, Milwaukee, or Sacramento, and you're picking twenty-fifth, twenty-third, and fourteenth over the next three years while stuck winning 30% of your games and not having a franchise guy to build around. We've kind of had that situation in the past with the Knicks and it sucked. That's an NBA landscape that small markets literally may not be able to survive. 

     

    Chasing an 8th seed plus getting rewarded with a top 6 pick is the exact reason the Wheel is so great. That's a fun season where the games still matter all the way down the stretch.

     

    I'm tired of this big market boogey man. News flash, all the big markets suck with the possible exception of the Clippers. The best teams are San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Cleveland (not a glamour market at all), Chicago (has never been able to sign a big time free agent despite the hype), and the Clips. New York is trash, Brooklyn is trash, the Lakers are trash, and Boston is trash. There are no "better front offices in the bigger markets."

     

    With the new shorter contracts, it's much easier for a team to turn things around, so the chances of any 2012 Bobcats like seasons are incredibly slim, especially when their is no benefit to such a season.

     

    If you blow a top pick you are fucked in either system - see Minnesota or Sac-town or early Bobcats.

     

    As for your example - if you're picking 25, 23, and 14 over the next 3 years you should also have a 1 overall pick just entering his big time extension prime and the number 6 and 7 picks in their first and 2nd years, so you should be doing plenty fine. And if not, you can go get Al Jefferson, Paul Milsap, or whoever else is available in free agency.

     

    Chasing an 8th seed plus getting rewarded with a top 6 pick is the exact reason the Wheel is so great. That's a fun season where the games still matter all the way down the stretch.

     
     
    I agree. That's why I supported smoothing out the odds in the lottery and drawing additional spots. You could even talk me into an unweighted lottery with all the non-playoff teams drawn fourteen deep. There are ways to remove the incentive to be as bad as possible without completely divorcing draft order from the realities on the court. 
     

    I'm tired of this big market boogey man. News flash, all the big markets suck with the possible exception of the Clippers. The best teams are San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Cleveland (not a glamour market at all), Chicago (has never been able to sign a big time free agent despite the hype), and the Clips. New York is trash, Brooklyn is trash, the Lakers are trash, and Boston is trash. There are no "better front offices in the bigger markets."

     

    If your argument is that players don't prefer living in a select set of cities, and thus those cities don't have an added advantage when it comes to player recruitment, I have several years worth of free-agency tours in my corner showing you you're wrong. There's a reason the Lakers and Knicks get a sit-down with whoever they want to sit down with when they have cap space. When you spell out the draft order thirty years ahead of time, you just let that influence creep over into the draft. 

     

    By the way, good front offices absolutely exist. Good front offices IN big (or, more accurately "glamour") markets? They exist too. It's how we wind up with things like the Shaq-Kobe Lakers, Lebron's Heat, and the Big 3 Celtics (both versions!). 

     

     

    If you blow a top pick you are fucked in either system - see Minnesota or Sac-town or early Bobcats.

     

     

    Yup, bad front offices are going to be a big hindrance to team building no matter what system you put in place. However, the current system lets you clear them out and let new (and hopefully much better) guys start from scratch right away, instead of having to go through a half-decade cycle of picking mid-to-late in the draft and trying to rebuild with a limited set of tools. Much easier to execute a fast turnaround with the non-playoff teams getting the top half of the draft.  

     

     

    As for your example - if you're picking 25, 23, and 14 over the next 3 years you should also have a 1 overall pick just entering his big time extension prime and the number 6 and 7 picks in their first and 2nd years, so you should be doing plenty fine.

     

     

    ....so long as you didn't get the top pick in an Andrea Bargnani year, or an Anthony Bennett year (I mean, we can call it the Vic Oladipo year, but he'd still be a crappy 1st overall pick), or a Kenyon Martin year. Or get the pick in a Derrick Rose year and take Mike Beasley over him. Or get the pick in an Anthony Davis year, only to have him go back to school because Phoenix and the Lakers are picking 1-2 next year. 

     

    The wheel's an awfully fantastic thing when you only look at the positive scenarios it brings (and, again, I'm not so sure a title team having a superstar fall out of the sky and sweeping the next decade is a good thing), but it's got a much, much harsher downside as well. One that, in my opinion, outweighs the positive. 

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    QC Thundercats
    Oct 23 2014 10:19 PM

    I posted this before, but since we're discussing the lottery again, here it is for reconsideration.  Even though any system has its flaws and ways to be exploited, I think I've eliminated most of the glaring flaws, and I feel any weakness here is still more preferable than any of the other options proposed.

     

     

    http://basketballfix...y-once-and.html

    The only way to attack the problem of tanking is to incentivize winning at all costs, no matter your current record. The best teams want homecourt advantage, the middling teams want to make the playoffs, and now we can get the dregs of the league to compete at the highest level as well. It could actually make an end of season game between Milwaukee and Philadelphia must-see TV, an exciting contest where the losers would be heartbroken instead of slyly patting themselves on the back for out-tanking their "rival."


    And with this fiercely competitive race for either the top of the league or the top of the bowels of the league, we can in fact still keep the grand spectacle of the lottery alive, with all the intrigue and mystery of where a team will pick. Except this mystery could be more inclusive of all the lottery teams, instead of just the top 3 picks.

     

     

    In my proposal, there will still be a lottery drawing for the top 3 positions, except instead of basing it on pure luck, it shall instead be based on the hard work and success of the teams who don't make the playoffs.


    How does a team qualify for a top 3 chance in the draft? On the day that a team is mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, they are then officially on the lottery clock to win as many games as possible until the end of the season. At the end of the year, you just tally up all the wins of the non-playoff teams, with the 3 winningest teams put in a lottery drawing with even, 33% odds to determine the 1st pick. Then there will be a draw between the remaining two teams for the 2nd pick, with the last team getting the 3rd.


    As for the rest of the non-playoff teams, their wins still count to determine the draft positions. The team with the next most wins will get the 4th position, and then 5th position, and so on until all 14 positions are filled. Where this can get exciting and mysterious is when there is a tie between teams. To keep this process as simple as possible, whenever there is a tie in the amount of wins (whether it is 2, 3, 4, or more teams), each of the tied teams are put in their own small drawing with even odds to determine the next picks, until all of those tied teams are placed. After the last tied team is placed, the process will then continue with the placement of the next winningest team, and for every tie, there will be another mini drawing.

    (If there is a tie amongst the top 3 winningest teams - such as 4 teams tying for the most wins, or perhaps 3 teams tied for 3rd place - then we would include each of these teams in the drawing for the top 3 picks, with the remainder of the teams being placed as described above.)


    This system will completely change the competitiveness of the league from top to bottom, from mid season to the end. If you're eliminated early and don't win, then you will end up with a much lower pick. This is also the most fair system to every team, as the worse teams will be eliminated first and have more chances and opportunities to collect wins, while the better teams who compete for the playoffs until the last day will not be able to get many wins, and thus placed near the bottom of the lottery (where they were likely to end up in the old system anyway).


    To best illustrate this new lottery system, lets just look at this past season to see how the teams would rank. Here are each of the lottery teams, with their date of elimination and how many wins they achieved afterwards. (If a team is eliminated for any reason on a particular day, but still wins their game that day, then this counts for their final total.)

     

    Lakers (3/14): 5 
    Milwaukee (3/15): 2 
    Utah (3/15): 3 
    Sacramento (3/16): 5 
    Philadelphia (3/18): 4 
    Orlando (3/25): 4 
    Denver (3/26): 4 
    New Orleans (3/24): 5 
    Boston (3/31): 2 
    Minnesota (4/4): 3 
    Detroit (4/6): 1 
    Cleveland (4/9): 2 
    New York (4/12): 3 
    Phoenix (4/14): 1

     

    5 win teams: Lakers, Sacramento, New Orleans 
    4 win teams: Philadelphia, Orlando, Denver 
    3 win teams: Utah, Minnesota, New York 
    2 win teams: Milwaukee, Boston, Cleveland 
    1 win teams: Detroit, Phoenix


    Because the Lakers, Sacramento, and New Orleans won the most games after elimination, then only these 3 teams are eligible for the top 3 picks. The first drawing will involve an even, 33% chance of getting the first pick. If Sacramento wins the drawing for #1, then there will be another drawing for the second pick. If New Orleans gets drawn next, then the Lakers will automatically be awarded the #3 pick. This justly rewards the teams that actually tried to win the most games at the end of the year, instead of trying to pile up losses to get the most ping pong balls. If you want to join this 1st Drawing Club, just win baby!


    The 4th pick will then be determined by the team that won the next most games. However, there is a tie between Philadelphia, Orlando, and Denver for this honor. Thus, there will be another drawing between these 3 teams, again with even, 33% odds. If Denver is pulled 1st, they will get the #4 pick, and the drawing for #5 will be between Orlando and Philadelphia. If Orlando is drawn, then the #6 pick will go to Philadelphia.


    Picks #7, #8, and #9 will be determined by another 3 team drawing between Utah, Minnesota and New York. Likewise, picks #10, #11, and #12 will be determined by a 3 team drawing between Milwaukee, Boston, and Cleveland (who finally won't be able to pay luck their way to another #1 pick).


    As for pick #13, since there is yet another tie, then there will be one last drawing with even, 50% odds between Detroit and Phoenix.


    I assume going forward that there will be much more winning amongst the non playoff teams, and there likely will be less ties as well. However, the new lottery system will be able to place teams appropriately into their draft slot based on pure, competitive wins, and nothing more. There still is a little luck involved with the top 3 winning teams and any other tie breakers, and this will still create a lot of fun on lottery night in seeing who falls where.


    And while I'm sure there are probably a few flaws that may be pointed out in the future, it will never be as flawed as the current system (or the crazy wheel system, or a straight NFL style draft). Tanking will finally end, conspiracy theories will end, competitiveness will be raised, winning will be rewarded, cats and dogs will play together, the Middle East will be peaceful at last, and eternal youth will finally be achieved. Why wouldn't the NBA want eternal youth?

     

    If your argument is that players don't prefer living in a select set of cities, and thus those cities don't have an added advantage when it comes to player recruitment, I have several years worth of free-agency tours in my corner showing you you're wrong. There's a reason the Lakers and Knicks get a sit-down with whoever they want to sit down with when they have cap space. When you spell out the draft order thirty years ahead of time, you just let that influence creep over into the draft. 

     

    By the way, good front offices absolutely exist. Good front offices IN big (or, more accurately "glamour") markets? They exist too. It's how we wind up with things like the Shaq-Kobe Lakers, Lebron's Heat, and the Big 3 Celtics (both versions!). 

     

     

    Lol, I'm sorry, who did the Lakers get with all their cap space this year? I'm not sure they got a sit down with anyone and definitely not with Bron Bron.

     

    I admit that some markets have advantages when it comes to attracting certain players (we have this with Steph Curry, for example). That doesn't change in either system and has nothing to do with how you do the draft.

     

    And your 5 examples of good front offices in big markets include a team from 30 years ago, a team from 15 years ago, and a city that was never considered a big market until Lebron went there. Got it.

     

    You're also ignoring how exciting it would be for the league as a whole for New York or LA to have a number one overall pick. No one's complaining about Derrick Rose going to Chicago.

     

    Yup, bad front offices are going to be a big hindrance to team building no matter what system you put in place. However, the current system lets you clear them out and let new (and hopefully much better) guys start from scratch right away, instead of having to go through a half-decade cycle of picking mid-to-late in the draft and trying to rebuild with a limited set of tools. Much easier to execute a fast turnaround with the non-playoff teams getting the top half of the draft.  

     

     

    Let me ask you something, why do you think the Bucks did the treadmill thing for so long? It's because, as a small market they couldn't afford to do an outright tank like Philly, a big market team that makes lots more cash, is able to do. The Wheel helps the small market teams because they can put out decent quality teams and still get high quality picks, which they also have the luxury of planning for. The Hornets literally couldn't afford to lose anymore and that drove their moves for last season more than anything.

     

     

    ....so long as you didn't get the top pick in an Andrea Bargnani year, or an Anthony Bennett year (I mean, we can call it the Vic Oladipo year, but he'd still be a crappy 1st overall pick), or a Kenyon Martin year. Or get the pick in a Derrick Rose year and take Mike Beasley over him. Or get the pick in an Anthony Davis year, only to have him go back to school because Phoenix and the Lakers are picking 1-2 next year. 

     

    The wheel's an awfully fantastic thing when you only look at the positive scenarios it brings (and, again, I'm not so sure a title team having a superstar fall out of the sky and sweeping the next decade is a good thing), but it's got a much, much harsher downside as well. One that, in my opinion, outweighs the positive. 

     

    This is so funny. Every argument I've ever had with you here devolves to you giving convoluted examples of the worst case scenario. Really, an athlete giving up the guaranteed #1 overall money to go back to school for another year? Because the Lakers have the number one pick next year (something that would only happen once every 30 years anyways, hahaha). You really manage to outdo yourself sometimes.