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News » Some suggestions for the NBA Draft Lottery 2008-05-21

Some suggestions for the NBA Draft Lottery 2008-05-21

Some suggestions for the NBA Draft Lottery  2008-05-21
The 2008 NBA Draft Lottery will be conducted Tuesday night at the NBA Entertainment studio in Secaucus, N.J.

Hit the jackpot

The chances for each of the 14 teams to win the top pick in Tuesday's draft lottery:

Every game would count, especially with someone like Greg Oden waiting as the draft prize.

If that suggestion seems even more grotesquely unfair than every team having a 1-in-30 shot at the first overall selection, we could limit the good-to-bad-record lineup to the 14 non-playoff teams. With such a system in place right now, the Golden State Warriors would pick first and the Miami Heat would check in at 14.

The playoff teams would fill in the 15-30 spots in good-better-best order, making sure the Boston Celtics wouldn't add a really good player unless Danny Ainge is much smarter than he seemed a year ago.

We hate flops, but a flip might work

And this has nothing to do with Saunders. The flip in this scheme (I mean idea) would involve a coin and return us to the time when the Phoenix Suns watched as a compelling heads-tails showdown left them with Neal Walk instead of Lew Alcindor in 1969.

But wouldn't a simple coin flip also return us to the days of losing on purpose? Hey, we're already there; with the current system of ping-pong possibilities, we just have more teams allegedly participating in this purposeful-losing strategy.

After the two worst teams flip it out, the rest of the draft would go in inverse order of regular-season success. This procedure wouldn't allow for 10 minutes of high drama from Secaucus, but it would better serve the equitable-dispensing-of-talent objective. If equity is what the NBA desires.

Look at it this way: the Seattle SuperSonics and Portland Trail Blazers entered the 2007 lottery as the fifth and six seeds, respectively, and wound up with the second and first picks.

(This may have been a measure of justice for the Blazers, who were seeded first in 2006 and, through ping-pong annihilation, selected fourth.)

In the '07 lottery, not one of the three-worst teams by record entered the draft with a top-three pick.

Under this current system, the Heat's unreasonably inspired effort to have the worst record has produced only a 25-percent shot at landing Beasley or Rose with the first overall pick.

If you're uncomfortable congratulating two teams with the worst records and offering heads or tails, the league could require a deeper recent history of awful play. For example, the two teams with the worst records over the last two seasons would enter the coin flip; a team that wins the flip would be ineligible (despite how many games they still lose) the following year.

While adding an extra year of intentional futility is not beyond possibility, most coaches and general managers might fear that immediate unemployment could preclude this strategic losing.

With a perfect system seemingly beyond our grasp, the upgrade that can generate a greater balance of talent is the one giving terrible teams a greater chance of getting better.

And if you're worried about intentional losing, don't waste time worrying about the talent-judging skills of franchises capable of such shenanigans.

To give comfort to the worrywarts among you, please note that six of the last 14 No. 1 overall picks were used on Joe Smith, Michael Olowokandi, Kwame Brown, Kenyon Martin, Andrew Bogut and Andrea Bargnani.

Sometimes prolific losing just isn't enough.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 21, 2008


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