NBA Owners Vote Against Draft Lottery Reform
The NBA Draft lottery process was close to being reformed, but it didn’t receive enough votes to pass at the league’s board of governors meeting on Wednesday, via ESPN. The reform needed 23 votes to pass and the final vote finished 17-13 in favor, leaving it six votes short.
The reform was meant to give the four worst teams equal odds (around 11 percent) of landing the top pick, with the fifth worst team having a 10 percent chance and the rest of the teams with declining odds. The current system gives the team with the worst record a 25 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick, and the second worst team has a 19.9 percent chance.
From Commissioner Adam Silver:
I think, in essence, the owners were concerned about unintended consequences. I think we all recognize we need to find the right balance between creating the appropriate incentives on one hand for teams to, of course, win, and on the other hand allowing for appropriate rebuilding and the draft to work as it should in which the worst performing teams get the highest picks in the draft.
This draft lottery reform was proposed in order to counter the idea of “tanking”, or losing on purpose in order to increase your chances in the draft lottery. Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie is the latest and most polarized culprit.
The most recent team to finish with the NBA’s worst record and win the no. 1 overall pick was the Orlando Magic when they drafted Dwight Howard in 2004. Only four teams with the worst or tied-for-worst record landed the top overall pick since the current lottery system was implemented in 1985.
I don’t necessarily disagree with the way it works now. I’d say from a personal standpoint, what I’m most concerned about is perception out there right now and frankly the pressure on a lot of our teams, even from their very fans, to somehow underperform because it’s in some peoples’ view the most efficient and quickest way to get better.
I think that’s a corrosive perception out there.