Howard Beck: NBA adopts two measures to curb tanking: 1…


More on Draft Lottery

Flattening the odds in the NBA's draft lottery, a changed passed today by an overwhelming 28-1-1 vote of team owners, will not end tanking and may not reduce it much. The league knows that; they repeatedly characterized the proposal as "an incremental step" toward more potential tweaks, sources say. They are concerned about egregious tanking from teams that are already awful -- the sort of tanking that generates think pieces and angry tweets.
The National Basketball Association is aggressively pursuing draft lottery reform that could be voted into legislation before the start of the 2017-'18 season, league sources told ESPN. Commissioner Adam Silver is a strong advocate to de-incentivize tanking by implementing lower odds on the NBA's worst teams to gain the top picks in the draft, league sources said.
The proposed measures would also increase the chances of better teams making a jump up into the draft lottery. The NBA's 14 non-playoff team compromise the league's annual draft lottery system. If passed, the lottery reform would be phased into use over time, and there's no indication that the 2018 NBA Draft would fall under new legislation, league sources said.
Falling to eighth in the NBA Draft Lottery severely hurt the Knicks’ chances of getting either Kentucky guard. Fox is expected to be taken in the top five. Monk, projected to go sixth, also should be gone when the Knicks pick. “Hopefully,” he said inside the Vanderbilt YMCA Thursday.
A day after watching teams leapfrog his Phoenix Suns in the NBA Draft Lottery, general manager Ryan McDonough wasn’t feeling any worse for wear. He’s comfortable picking fourth in the June 22 draft. And after Phoenix rested veterans this past season to help its lottery odds, McDonough does have a critique for the current system. “I would like to see the odds be smoothed out a little bit,” he told Jon Bloom on Wednesday as a guest of the Suns postseason special show on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.
Paul Pierce may have finished his career with the Nets, Wizards, and Clippers, but he’ll always be a member of the Celtics. On Tuesday, the recently retired future Hall of Famer took to Twitter after the Celtics won the NBA draft lottery for the first time and earned the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

https://twitter.com/paulpierce34/status/864646029961863169
Brian Robb: Ainge: "Isaiah can play with anyone. He's a basketball player."
Chris Forsberg: Danny Ainge on “beating Magic” in lotto: We didn’t beat Magic. It’s total luck. They’re picking pingpong balls. There’s no beating anybody."
Magic Johnson: Having a great time in NY with Rob at the NBA Draft lottery. Our 2nd pick will be a great start to rebuilding the @Los Angeles Lakers!
Al Iannazzone: Phil on picking eighth: "We’ll get a talented young player, hopefully someone that can contribute this next year."

http://twitter.com/BenGolliver/status/864645642106224640
Sean Cunningham: Philly has swapped, so Kings get the 5th pick, Philly into the top three.
Jason Jones: Moving to five means Tatum or Fox are definitely in play. This will be the highest the Kings have picked since 2010 (DeMarcus Cousins).
Manny Navarro: #Celtics win lottery. Lakers 2nd, Sixers 3rd, Suns 4th, Kings 5th, Magic 6th, T'Wolves 7th, Knicks 8th
Marc J. Spears: Former Kansas small forward Josh Jackson will attend the NBA's Draft Lottery tomorrow, a source said.
“One of the great things is most of the players that are lottery candidates attend,” Pelinka told The Times during a brief break in a busy day. “It’s a really good time to get to have some social interaction with the players and understand what type of people they are, what their character is."
Baxter Holmes: Magic Johnson will be representing the Lakers on stage at the May 16 draft lottery. Lakers GM Rob Pelinka will rep team in the drawing room.
Marc Berman: As seventh seed, Knicks have an 80 percent of being either 7 or 8. They had already lost ping pong balls by winning finale.
Still, behind closed doors in the Celtics training facility in Waltham, there was disappointment. But there was no cursing Isaiah Thomas for being in the lottery room in New York and not bringing home the big prize. “There were some groans. I think the buildup, once we weren’t sixth and we weren’t five and we weren’t four, there was a lot of hope that we could get a good pick,” Ainge said. “But we’ll take it. We’ll give Isaiah a passing grade. We’ll keep him.”
The Lakers entered the drawing with the second-best odds – 19.9 percent, second only to Philadelphia’s 25 percent – and Black’s worst nightmare was seeing the Lakers moving down instead of up in the draft’s pecking order. Especially when most NBA officials firmly believe there are two players – Louisiana State’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram – who are head-and-shoulders above their draft classmates. So, just how nervous was Black? “Very,’’ he said in a serious tone. “I’ve been in a lot of pressure-packed situations during my career like the Finals. I was here for this last year, too, and I have to say this is even worse.’’
Even when the 76ers hit the lottery with the winning ping-pong combination of 1-10-5-9, neither Rubin nor Wrubel went bonkers. They both simply smiled before giving each other a hug. Asked why he didn’t show more emotion after winning the lottery, Wrubel said matter-of-factly, “When you get to the end zone, you’re supposed to quietly lay the football down.’’
Even though he is an avid college basketball fan – “I follow it pretty closely. I know a couple of names,’’ Wrubel joked – he wasn’t about to tip his hand. Cracked Wrubel: “We’re looking for the best kid out of the Ivy League.’’
Sixers executives celebrated inside the New York Hilton Midtown with hugs and cheers. “We deserved this,” they repeated to each other. The 76ers had the third overall pick each of the past two drafts. “The city has endured a lot over the past three seasons,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “Our fans deserve this. ... You just get a flood of memories when you hear you have the first pick. It just ties it all (together). I’m very thrilled for our organization. “I never felt jinxed. I never felt jinxed. I truly believe in what we’re doing. I feel like in many ways we’re being rewarded for our patience and perseverance — especially the city’s patience and perseverance.”
Before the drawing, Bryan Colangelo, the Sixers new GM, told ESPN.com he would contact Hinkie if the Sixers won the No. 1 pick. "It's unfortunate that Sam isn't here to be a part of this," Colangelo said. "But it was his choice."
It was a tweet that had been suggested in an email, which Mutombo forwarded to For The Win, sent from a team staffer in the event that the team did win the lottery. “As you know tonight is the NBA Draft Lottery and we are all excited and hopeful we walk away with the #1 overall pick,” the email read. “To help create excitement for the team, would it be possible for you (or whoever controls your account) to post a congratulatory tweet in the event we do get the #1 Overall Pick? I know you have ties to many teams, but none of which would be in the running for the #1 pick this year.”
There were sample tweets provided, along with a suggestion to just retweet the 76ers account. Mutombo said he was busy and didn’t read the email carefully, but wanted to be supportive so he posted the tweet. When he realized his mistake minutes later, he immediately took it down. “Sorry, guys,” he tweeted. “Got excited about the @sixers odds and got ahead of myself.Still keeping my fingers crossed for tonight.”
"I was in favor of changing the lottery," Adam Silver, the league's commissioner, told reporters after the drawing. "But we've parked the issue. We've said, 'Once we get through this summer of free agency, let's return to it and see if a modification is necessary.'"
Some of the more nefarious team executives sequestered in the drawing room wondered before the lottery if the league were aware of smart watches, and if they might be able to sneak in an Apple Watch and communicate the results in real time. Nope. The league specifically warned that all smart watches had to stay outside the room, along with phones and laptops.
Marc J. Spears: The Sixers get top pick and likely Ben Simmons. Lakers second. Celtics third.
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Zach LaVine on trade speculation: Nine years of dealing with this

“Nothing new for me. Nine years of dealing with this. Play the next day. Practice. See what happens,” Zach LaVine said of the speculation swirling this time of year and the focus needed in advance of the trade deadline and All-Star break. “Guys are fine, at least from what I’ve noticed. Nobody is paying really big attention to it, unless they’re having private discussions they don’t want to share with the team. But I think it’s a little bit more what’s going on outside the locker room and outside the team and the media makes it a bigger deal than it is.”
Billy Donovan: “I know we’re five or six days away from the deadline. But like he always tells me, when something really comes up that’s pertinent that he wants to fill me in on, he’ll fill me in. He’s on the phone, and I think there’s all kinds of calls and conversations going on with all these teams right now. But there’s nothing that he’s really talked to me where he’s said, ‘Hey listen, we’re close on this or close on that.’ But he is communicating.”