OT: Draft Lottery

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So in terms of the worst teams in the league, 1,7,8 and 11 are now in the top 4. This really does crush tanking.
I think it's the opposite; we're in a new era of tanking strategy that will ultimately be worse off for the league. Lottery reform was the most short-sighted change during Silver's tenure so far. They were too focused on punishing the worst teams that they didn't realize how much they helped the mediocre teams. We just saw three teams that weren't that far from being in the playoffs get rewarded with top picks.

1) It makes it more difficult for the truly bad teams to land a top pick. This means these bad teams will tank for years on end now. What's the alternative for these teams? Even with worse odds, the most prudent play is to keep on tanking.

2) It incentivizes teams who are fighting for an 8th seed to tank the final 6-8 weeks of the year since they now have a better chance than ever to move up.

I know the league was upset with Hinkie but I believe they overreacted. It's never a good idea to make it this difficult for poor teams to improve.
 
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I think it's the opposite; we're in a new era of tanking strategy that will ultimately be worse off for the league. Lottery reform was the most short-sighted change during Silver's tenure so far. They were too focused on punishing the worst teams that they didn't realize how much they helped the mediocre teams. We just saw three teams that weren't that far from being in the playoffs get rewarded with top picks.

1) It makes it more difficult for the truly bad teams to land a top pick. This means these bad teams will tank for years on end now. What's the alternative for these teams? Even with worse odds, the most prudent play is to keep on tanking.

2) It incentivizes teams who are fighting for an 8th seed to tank the final 6-8 weeks of the year since they now have a better chance than ever to move up.

I know the league was upset with Hinkie but I believe they overreacted. It's never a good idea to make it this difficult for poor teams to improve.
The league doesn't care about bad teams. It cares about intentionally not winning games. They fixed the latter.
 
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The league doesn't care about bad teams. It cares about intentionally not winning games. They fixed the latter.
Says who?

People really think bad teams are suddenly going to try because the odds are a little worse? It still makes far more sense for them to tank, even if the odds aren't what they used to be.
 
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I don't mind helping the mediocre teams. It's rare that a team ends up in the bottom three due to bad luck. They are usually there because they made bad decisions over a long period of time (Knicks) ... or they tanked on purpose (Philly's "Process"). Look at Charlotte. Everyone is saying they should just start over (tank) because they stuck in 7 to 10 seed territory. So maybe this would push them to tank a few games to get a 10 see over an 8, but at least they'd be trying for a majority of the season and still have a chance to get a golden ticket. It still gives the bad teams solid picks that should allow them to move up to mediocre in time.
 
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The league doesn't care about bad teams. It cares about intentionally not winning games. They fixed the latter.
Losing more still limits how far you can drop in the draft. This doesn't change anything, if anything it gives more teams an incentive to tank
 
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I don't mind helping the mediocre teams. It's rare that a team ends up in the bottom three due to bad luck. They are usually there because they made bad decisions over a long period of time (Knicks) ... or they tanked on purpose (Philly's "Process"). Look at Charlotte. Everyone is saying they should just start over (tank) because they stuck in 7 to 10 seed territory. So maybe this would push them to tank a few games to get a 10 see over an 8, but at least they'd be trying for a majority of the season and still have a chance to get a golden ticket. It still gives the bad teams solid picks that should allow them to move up to mediocre in time.
I would love them to do the draft lottery the way they currently do it but every 4 years do a completely random drawing where every team would have an equal chance. It could possibly help some of the mediocre teams like charlotte but mostly it would just be fun as hell.
 
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Says who?
People really think bad teams are suddenly going to try because the odds are a little worse? It still makes far more sense for them to tank, even if the odds aren't what they used to be.
Totally disagree. I don't think you understand how the odds absolutely motivated tanking and made that strategy superior. Having the worst record gave you the best odds to improve. Now it quite clearly does not.

Yes there are always unintended consequences and you are right about the middle, borderline playoff teams having a possible incentive to miss the playoffs. But even that jockeying is a heck of a lot more interesting than outright losing. Depending on the team you may be better off missing the playoffs versus being #8 vs #1 fodder. But if you are an up and coming team like the quickly rebuilt Clippers the playoff experience is/was worthwhile. The Kings would have killed for that. AND there was a dogfight for the last playoff spot in the EAST, so you are diagnosing a problem that didn't exist in practice.
The problem of losing games the last part of a too long season when your fate is known/sealed anyway is much less of a problem than choosing years of purposeful non-competitiveness that destroys the entertainment/competitiveness of the league. That was a real occurrence, they needed to dis-incentivize that and they did.
 
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Totally disagree. I don't think you understand how the odds absolutely motivated tanking and made that strategy superior. Having the worst record gave you the best odds to improve. Now it quite clearly does not.

Yes there are always unintended consequences and you are right about the middle, borderline playoff teams having a possible incentive to miss the playoffs. But even that jockeying is a heck of a lot more interesting than outright losing. Depending on the team you may be better off missing the playoffs versus being #8 vs #1 fodder. But if you are an up and coming team like the quickly rebuilt Clippers the playoff experience is/was worthwhile. The Kings would have killed for that. AND there was a dogfight for the last playoff spot in the EAST, so you are diagnosing a problem that didn't exist in practice.
The problem of losing games the last part of a too long season when your fate is known/sealed anyway is much less of a problem than choosing years of purposeful non-competitiveness that destroys the entertainment/competitiveness of the league. That was a real occurrence, they needed to dis-incentivize that and they did.
You can't use this year as an example, nobody knew what this lottery would be like until this week. Next year if teams are still competing really hard to make the playoffs you have a valid point
 
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Losing more still limits how far you can drop in the draft. This doesn't change anything, if anything it gives more teams an incentive to tank
There is a cost to losing, usually coming from pressure from fans, owners, and sometimes the league. There is also a direct financial opportunity cost from not selling tickets when fans don't support the team's losing.

Giving yourself a 60% chance of a top 3 pick (generally the only picks that are team changing) is a much different reward than giving yourself a 60% chance to MISS the top 3.

The financial reward is not there anymore compared to the cost. The Knicks beat the odds to get the #3 pick (they had a >50% chance to be 4 or 5). That was statistically a good outcome for them. Do you think Dolan thinks this is a good outcome for the franchise? No, because the losing wasn't worth the 3rd pick in a weak draft.

Not trying your hardest in 5 games at the end of the season is different than putting together a roster that intentionally can't win. The former is not tanking. Adam Silver has been very candid that bottoming out and rebuilding is a valid and acceptable thing for a franchise to do. Bottoming out and then intentionally not rebuilding until you've amassed enough lottery talent is not acceptable. And with this new system, your success rate with that strategy is lower AND will take longer, making it far too costly.

If instead of a race to the bottom it's a crawl to the middle-bad, that means the average bad team is winning more games. That's what the league wants. A few more wins from bad teams.
 
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You can't use this year as an example, nobody knew what this lottery would be like until this week. Next year if teams are still competing really hard to make the playoffs you have a valid point
Teams/GMs aren't that dumb. You are literally arguing that they will play the odds but didn't understand the published odds until they observed an actual occurrence?

They changed the rules, everyone knew the odds. The only thing one can't use about this year as an example is teams didn't know until September 2017 (edited) that being the most terrible in 18-19 wouldn't be rewarded. And really only the Knicks tried that and now have been universally identified as the biggest loser of the new draft system. There will always be lousy teams (LeBron leaves, Love injured - Cavs suck), but the tanking 'rewards' the Sixers parlayed into two straight second round exits have been muted.
 
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There is a cost to losing, usually coming from pressure from fans, owners, and sometimes the league. There is also a direct financial opportunity cost from not selling tickets when fans don't support the team's losing.

Giving yourself a 60% chance of a top 3 pick (generally the only picks that are team changing) is a much different reward than giving yourself a 60% chance to MISS the top 3.

The financial reward is not there anymore compared to the cost. The Knicks beat the odds to get the #3 pick (they had a >50% chance to be 4 or 5). That was statistically a good outcome for them. Do you think Dolan thinks this is a good outcome for the franchise? No, because the losing wasn't worth the 3rd pick in a weak draft.

Not trying your hardest in 5 games at the end of the season is different than putting together a roster that intentionally can't win. The former is not tanking. Adam Silver has been very candid that bottoming out and rebuilding is a valid and acceptable thing for a franchise to do. Bottoming out and then intentionally not rebuilding until you've amassed enough lottery talent is not acceptable. And with this new system, your success rate with that strategy is lower AND will take longer, making it far too costly.

If instead of a race to the bottom it's a crawl to the middle-bad, that means the average bad team is winning more games. That's what the league wants. A few more wins from bad teams.
And yet the Knicks sold out every game so no, I don't think Dolan cares. Any smart fan knows tanking is the way to go. I get annoyed with mediocrity, not losing
 
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Totally disagree. I don't think you understand how the odds absolutely motivated tanking and made that strategy superior. Having the worst record gave you the best odds to improve. Now it quite clearly does not.
I don't think you understand that it doesn't matter that the odds aren't as good anymore. Tanking is still far better than not tanking. Getting a 14% chance at the top pick is still better than finishing 7th with a 6% chance; even if it doesn't work out you're still playing the numbers. What the hell is my motivation to try win 29 games instead of bottoming out and winning 19? That my odds aren't as good as they were? Ignore the past, it's irrelevant. You still want to play the numbers.

I can't believe people think teams are going to huddle up and say, "Gee, we shouldn't try for the best possible odds anymore because they aren't as good as they used to be." If they really wanted to get rid of tanking they'd give every team in the lottery the same odds. Until then, teams are going to tank.

People are acting like the Knicks, Cavs, and Suns didn't know going into the season that the new lottery odds were in place and that it was some big surprise on Tuesday night. Those few teams knew the situation and still tanked like madmen. It'll happen next year and the year after because tanking is absolutely still smarter than not tanking.
 
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There is a cost to losing, usually coming from pressure from fans, owners, and sometimes the league. There is also a direct financial opportunity cost from not selling tickets when fans don't support the team's losing.
And being a bottom-rung treadmill team that wins 28-35 games for a several-year stretch doesn't have a cost? That's the absolute worst place to be in the NBA, sitting in the late lottery for a 3-4 year stretch. Your fanbase has absolutely no hope.
 
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Best players in recent drafts: Order does not matter that much. Just draft well and develop and you can succeed.

2010: Paul George - 10th Pick
2011: Kawhi Leonard - 15th Pick
2012: Anthony Davis - 1st pick / Lillard - 6th Pick
2013: Giannis - 15th Pick
2014: Embiid - 3rd pick / Nikola Jokic 41st Pick
2015: Towns - 1st pick - I guess
2016: Ben Simmons 1st pick / Jamal Murray 6th pick
2017: Donovan Mitchell - 13th Pick
2018: Luka - 3rd Pick / Trae Young - 5th Pick
 

the Q

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The best thing for the league would be to end the draft completely.
Make them all Free Agents?
Absolutely. Anyone who thinks the draft is about “competitive balance” is a sucker.

It’s always been about salary suppression. Limiting leverage. That’s not just the NBA. Imagine what kyler Murray would’ve gotten on the open market.
 
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I don't think you understand that it doesn't matter that the odds aren't as good anymore. Tanking is still far better than not tanking. Getting a 14% chance at the top pick is still better than finishing 7th with a 6% chance; even if it doesn't work out you're still playing the numbers. What the hell is my motivation to try win 29 games instead of bottoming out and winning 19? That my odds aren't as good as they were? Ignore the past, it's irrelevant. You still want to play the numbers.

I can't believe people think teams are going to huddle up and say, "Gee, we shouldn't try for the best possible odds anymore because they aren't as good as they used to be." If they really wanted to get rid of tanking they'd give every team in the lottery the same odds. Until then, teams are going to tank.

People are acting like the Knicks, Cavs, and Suns didn't know going into the season that the new lottery odds were in place and that it was some big surprise on Tuesday night. Those few teams knew the situation and still tanked like madmen. It'll happen next year and the year after because tanking is absolutely still smarter than not tanking.
Teams aren't going to embark on a 5yr strategy of sucking because they no longer can come out of that with a relative certainty or great odds of 2-3 top picks. In a given year teams might punt, but they've made long term suckitude less appealing. That's the point you didn't hear as much of teams 'blowing it up' this season as in the past and that will continue to diminish.

Think about what didn't happen. Had the absolute bottom team had the best odds at Zion, there would have been an ugly anti-competitive suckfest to try and get a generational player in Zion. Who knows if the teams records would have been worse, but there was no media focus on that. By avoiding that suckfest the NBA scored a HUGE win in the first year of the revised odds.
 

nelsonmuntz

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Absolutely. Anyone who thinks the draft is about “competitive balance” is a sucker.

It’s always been about salary suppression. Limiting leverage. That’s not just the NBA. Imagine what kyler Murray would’ve gotten on the open market.
What is your logic on this? The NBA guarantees players a percentage of revenue.
 
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That's what I say. The salary cap will keep enough teams competitive. Tanking should never be acceptable.
This is the Haralabob model. Hard cap. No draft. No rookie wage scale. No max contracts except what hard cap dictates.

The only issue I see is the supplemental income outside of basketball that will give some markets an advantage, which is mitigated currently by team-controlled rights for minimum of 5 years (and then re-sign Bird right advantages).
 
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This is the Haralabob model. Hard cap. No draft. No rookie wage scale. No max contracts except what hard cap dictates.

The only issue I see is the supplemental income outside of basketball that will give some markets an advantage, which is mitigated currently by team-controlled rights for minimum of 5 years (and then re-sign Bird right advantages).
Interesting idea but no way the Player's Association goes for something that would greatly reduce the median salary.
 

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