Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey believes the NBA’s draft pick lottery needs reform.
“We have to get rid of the marginal incentive to lose,” Morey said Friday to ESPN.
The current system puts non-playoff teams in a weighted lottery where those with worse records have better odds of receiving a higher pick. Looking ahead to the 2014 NBA draft on June 26, accusations are now resurfacing of teams purposefully forfeiting wins in the end of their season to get a higher lottery number.
The NBA draft annually sparks talks of implementation overhaul, but Morey said what he’s seeing in the league is much worse this year.
“It’s bad right now,” Morey said. “I think last year, at the end of the season, I counted like two-thirds of the teams weren’t trying to win.”
If what Morey said is true, that would mean 20 of the 30 NBA teams were playing the weighted lottery system to their advantage by chalking up the losses once they knew they were out of playoff territory. The actual success of these missions to tank has been hotly debated for many years.
Various NBA personnel have proposed solutions, though.
According to ESPN, Morey specifically mentioned Boston Celtics assistant general manager Michael Zarren’s draft “wheel.” Grantland reportedly obtained a copy of the proposal, which states that the “wheel” would allow each of the 30 teams to pick in a first-round draft slot once every 30 years. The teams would then cycle through a predetermined order each year.
Other solutions include removing protected draft picks and eliminating the draft altogether. This would allow rookies to enter the league as free agents.
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