Earlier this month, the league formally proposed changes to the current draft lottery system to the competition committee. Under the new rules, the odds of receiving the first overall pick would be more weighted among the worst teams in the league. The Philadelphia 76ers, who plan to be pretty bad again next season, are reportedly trying to delay those changes from happening.
Via Zach Lowe of Grantland, the proposed new draft lottery system would look like this:
Under the current system, the team with the worst record has a 25 percent chance of snagging the no. 1 pick, perhaps the most valuable asset in the entire NBA. The team with the second-worst record has a 19.9 percent chance of winning the no. 1 pick, and the third-worst team enters the lottery with a 15.6 percent chance of moving up to the top slot. The odds decline from there, with the final five teams in the lottery — the teams with the five best records — each having a 1.1 percent or worse chance of moving up to no. 1.
The league’s proposal gives at least the four worst teams the same chance at winning the no. 1 pick: approximately an identical 11 percent shot for each club. The odds decline slowly from there, with the team in the next spot holding a 10 percent chance. The lottery team with the best record will have a 2 percent chance of leaping to the no. 1 pick, up from the the minuscule 0.5 percent chance it has under the current system.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the 76ers want to delay these changes from happening. The NBA Board of Governors could vote on the issue as soon as October, which means the new rules would be enforced for next year’s draft.
It’s easy to see why the 76ers would object. Last year, the team went 19-63 in the regular season, including a 26-game losing streak at one point. For their efforts, Philadelphia received the third overall pick in this year’s draft, which they used on Joel Embiid, who might end up missing the entire season due to injury. The Sixers also secured the rights to Dario Saric on draft night. He’s not expected to come over from Europe for another two years.
So, the Sixers plan to be pretty bad again this year, and it would be advantageous to them to have a 25 percent chance at the first overall pick as the worst team in the league, compared to the 11 percent chance for the four worst teams under the proposed system.
Of course, this is exactly the purpose of the proposed changes, because the league wants to encourage teams to stop tanking, which makes a lot of regular season games meaningless and hard to watch, and negatively impacts attendance and overall revenue.
As Windhorst notes:
The rough draft of this plan was met with opposition by 76ers management, who are in the midst of a multiseason rebuilding project that is depending on a high pick next year. The 76ers, sources said, are hoping to get the NBA to delay plans for at least a year because it acts as a de facto punishment while just playing by the rules that have been in place.
The 76ers, however, may have a struggle to gain support from Silver or fellow teams on holding off the changes. Philadelphia’s planned sink to the bottom has caused a drag on revenues in one of the league’s largest markets and it is has upset some fellow teams, sources said.
If the proposed system does go into place before the start of next season, the 76ers won’t change course from their rebuilding plan. They just won’t have the same odds of securing the coveted top pick in next year’s draft lottery.
What do you think?
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