If the Board of Governors decides to vote in favor of the NBA Draft Lottery reform, it will impact the future of teams around the league.
The current system has been in place since 2005 and the league wouldn’t switch to a new plan until the 2019 NBA Draft. Jeff Zilgitt of USA TODAY Sports learned what the suggested proposal may look like.
With an adjustment, the three teams with the worst record will all have 14 percent odds to get the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. It’s currently 25 percent for the team with the worst record, 19.9 percent for the second-worst team and 15.6 percent for third-worst.
Tim Bontemps explained why evening out the bottom could help prevent tanking in the future (via Washington Post):
“It makes a lot sense, as it removes the incentives to lose at the top of the lottery without creating them at the bottom. It’s the kind of rational, incremental approach that is required to fix the issue.”
Another change is the highest lottery team would receive no worse than the fifth pick; with the current system, they are guaranteed a top-four selection. Then, for the remainder of the lottery, teams will have an approximately one or two percent decrease after the top three picks.
Franchises will vote to decide to decide if this will pass at the NBA Board of Governors meeting, which means we could know their decision by the end of September. It will need a two-thirds majority to pass.
Here is what Ziglitt said about why it may not be possible (via USA Today Sports):
“Some mid- and small-market teams believe this will hurt their chances of acquiring a franchise-altering player through the draft. Some of those teams are resigned to the fact that those type of players will not join their team in free agency or are leery to trade for them knowing it will be difficult to retain them.”
Reform was also suggested in 2014 but fell three votes short of passing. This new outline seems plausible so long as the mid and small-market franchises don’t block it due to the concerns mentioned above.