The league is preparing a new format to present to owners that will give every team a set draft order for the next 30 years, according to Grantland. Here are details:
Grantland obtained a copy of the proposal, which would eliminate the draft lottery entirely and replace it with a system in which each of the 30 teams would pick in a specific first-round draft slot once — and exactly once — every 30 years. Each team would simply cycle through the 30 draft slots, year by year, in a predetermined order designed so that teams pick in different areas of the draft each year.
The system is simpler to understand in pictorial form. Below is the wheel that outlines the order in which each team would cycle through the draft slots; the graphic highlights the top six slots in red to show that every team would be guaranteed one top-six pick every five seasons, and at least one top-12 pick in every four-year span:
Grantland provides further detail on the proposal, breaking down the pros and the cons of the proposed system. One thing that’s for certain, is that a set draft order would all but eliminate the chance of a team tanking to increase their probability of landing the number one overall pick. A potential problem of a set draft order is that a good team can get even better if they land a top-3 pick, and a bad team wouldn’t get much better with a pick in the bottom of the first round.
The NBA should probably ditch the complicated systems and instead adopt the same draft strategies used by the NFL and MLB that sets the draft order by worst record to best. But of course this is the NBA we’re talking about here, so chances are they’re going to still go with the most complicated system possible.
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