Expect some serious NBA Lottery reform in the coming years. The NBA submitted an official proposal to make lottery changes during this week’s competition meetings in Las Vegas. The central points to the reform are a more balanced system that prevents NBA teams from tanking their seasons in order to better leverage themselves to land the coveted top overall draft pick.
The proposal calls for a weighting system, giving at least the four worst teams the same chance of winning the No. 1 pick—approximately 11 percent each. Currently, the worst team has a 25 percent chance of gaining the top overall pick, followed by the second-worst team with a 19.9 percent chance, and third with a 15.6 percent probability. That in itself would be a significant deterrent for NBA teams trying to tank their season, as the bottom-rung squads would all have a smaller and equal chance of obtaining the top selection. So, why would you lose on purpose now?
The submitted proposal also asks for the league to draw the first six picks via the ping-pong ball system, instead of only the first three as it stands currently. Technically, the league could green-light this proposal to be implemented as soon as next year’s NBA Draft Lottery, although putting it in place in a few years sounds more practical, considering teams that have short-term plans are likely to object to a drastic change so soon.
Some critics believe that this new proposed system can actually encourage tanking, especially if teams elect to play their bench players and rest their stars to maximize their chances.
How ever this proposal should shake out, a balanced NBA is a better NBA.