“Grantland obtained a copy of the proposal, which would eliminate the draft lottery 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. Teams would know with 100 percent certainty in which draft slots they would pick every year, up to 30 years out from the start of every 30-year cycle. The practice of protecting picks would disappear; there would never be a Harrison Barnes–Golden State situation again, and it wouldn’t require a law degree to track ownership of every traded pick league-wide. 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:
Put another way: The team that gets the no. 1 pick in the very first year of this proposed system would draft in the following slots over the system’s first six seasons: 1st, 30th, 19th, 18th, 7th, 6th. Just follow the wheel around clockwise to see the entire 30-year pick cycle of each team, depending on their starting spoke in Year 1. The system is designed to eliminate the link between being very bad and getting a high draft pick. There is no benefit at all to being bad under a wheel system like this. If you believe tanking is morally wrong, or that it hurts business by alienating fans and cutting into attendance, this is a system you could get behind.”
Obviously this new proposal isn’t flawless. The biggest drawback would be that a championship team could possibly end up with a high draft pick, making it easier for them to continue their dominance. As someone who truly despises the idea of tanking, however, I’d have to say that the good far outweighs the bad. The concept of tanking, or losing games on purpose, has to be one of the worst things that has ever happened to the NBA. First of all, for the fans, it gives them a reason to root for their favorite team to lose (which I think is stupid regardless of the team’s current standing). For the GM’s, it’s a pathetic way for them to cheat the system in hopes of improving their roster. GM’s will now become more valuable as they’ll have to depend more on acquiring players through trades and free agency in order to make their team a contender. And when they do get their number one draft pick, they better make the most of it because they won’t see another one for 30 years.
Unfortunately, the new system wouldn’t take effect until all draft-related trades are finalized, which isn’t for another six years at the earliest. Nonetheless, it’s good to see that the NBA is taking action in eliminating one of their biggest problems.