The NBA is attempting to pursue a draft lottery reform that could be voted on legislation and instituted by the 2019 draft, ESPN reported on Thursday.
League sources told ESPN that Commissioner Adam Silver is one of the strongest advocates that want to eliminate tanking by implementing lower odds on the NBA’s worst teams to gain the top picks in the draft.
The new proposed measures could help to increase the chances of better teams to make a jump into the draft lottery. The NBA’s Competition Committee could be sending a formal recommendation to the Board of Governors as early as next week.
Recommendation could be presented to board of governors in September
The committee, which is comprised of some general managers and coaches, is expected to vote next week on sending the formal recommendation. Sources told ESPN the competition committee wants to issue a proposal for the league owners to vote upon in September, at the board of governors meeting in New York.
At the moment, the NBA team with the worst record can’t drop any lower than No. 4 to No. 1, but the new proposed legislation could allow such teams to drop from first to fifth in the draft lottery, according to league sources. Accordingly, the second-worst NBA team –which presently can’t drop any lower than fourth place—could fall to sixth, and the third-worst could drop to the seventh place.
With the current legislation, the teams with the three worst records have an ascending chance of winning the first pick, including (No. 3) 15.6 percent, (No. 2) 19.9 percent and (No. 1) 25 percent.
The new proposal would flatten the odds and give the three worst teams the same percentage of earning the No.1 overall pick, said the sources. Furthermore, the current worst record to the fifth-worst record is a gap of 25 percent to 8.8 percent, but the new regulations would also flatten that difference significantly.
Competition committee expects to punish teams who sit out key players on televised games
Another idea that could be included in the new proposed regulation would prohibit teams from picking in the top of the draft in consecutive years. For instance, if a team wins the No. 1 pick and drafts one of the best picks, it can pick no higher than No. 4 in the next lottery. While the idea is not yet included in the league office’s proposal, sources said it’s expected to be considered at the upcoming committee meeting.
The committee is also working on a recommendation to the board of governors that would allow level punishment on teams for benching out key players for nationally televised games, or several key players for road games. The commissioner’s office has long pushed for a plan of minimizing the intentional resting of key players in nationally televised games.
ESPN reports some NBA executives believe those new measures would effectively impact the taking issue. Many teams say tanking is no longer an issue in the league, and that the fear of teams mimicking the 76ers’ process has been unjustified.