The NBA took a step toward addressing the league’s tanking issue on Thursday when the league’s board of governors voted to pass draft lottery reform. The new draft lottery which will flatten out the odds at the top of the draft while only guaranteeing a top five pick for the worst record in the league.
Since the Pacers are embarking on a season which could go one of many ways, including the wrong way, leaving the Pacers near the bottom of the lottery, the thought of lottery reform sounds horrible. But, the new rules won’t go into effect until the 2019 draft lottery which means, the Pacers will probably finish nowhere near the bottom of the league.
That’s fine with the front office at the Fieldhouse, as Kevin Pritchard explained when saying he and Herb Simon both supported the new draft lottery rule.
“We’ve looked at it, we’ve modeled it,” Pritchard said. “One of the things that we think is right is that it does take away from the tanking. The top three would be equal in amount of the percentage that you can get for the top pick. We want to be good. We don’t want to shallow out. We want to take this team and we want to be competitive.”
No surprise with that stance from the Pacers who voted ‘yea’ on the rule along with 27 other teams. Oklahoma City was the only team to vote against the draft lottery rule while Dallas abstained from voting.
No surprise the Thunder didn’t want to change since they were initially built while tanking in Seattle (Urrgghhh!!!!). Also, tanking is no doubt their Plan B if all of the high-priced talent they assembled for this season decides to move on next summer.
The league also approved regulations allowing Adam Silver to punish teams who rest players without injury. This has been a big topic of discussion in past years at the Fieldhouse with LeBron James resting a couple of times along with Stephen Curry.
Regardless of the competitive advantage it may give a team, the practice of resting players is a horrible look for the league and a slap in the face to fans who spend big dollars to watch visiting stars. That said, I’m sure the Spurs will lead the league in back strains.
As for the change in draft lottery odds, Adrian Wojnarowskie laid out all of the updated odds compared to the current system.
Here is an ESPN graphic on how NBA Draft lottery odds change in 2019 pic.twitter.com/Jk8X7q0J3Z— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 28, 2017