Itís been getting ugly in Philadelphia. A 76ers team that was constructed to Ďwiní a high lottery pick traded two of their best players for pieces they didnít need and draft picks that are probably not going to help them and got even worse. They werenít alone and their motivation seems clear. A second worst finish in the league gets a 19.9 percent chance at winning the first overall draft pick, but a dead last position gets 25 percent. Winning a couple of extra games could drop their chances at the top pick to 15.6 percent or even lower. Itís all too much for a competent general manager to just ignore Ė not that anyone involved with a team or the NBA is going to say any team is tanking.The current system is basically fair. It just over motivates undesirable behavior. A simple solution would be to reduce to incentive to get worse by making small changes in a teamís position in the standings mean less. The current lottery odds create the opposite effect.Can A Modified Lottery System Solve The NBA Tanking Problem?To reduce the incentive without eliminating a bad teamís chances at a top pick, the motivation needs to be reduced. One method would be to create brackets where a teamís precise finish doesnít matter as much.
There are no perfect solutions and Silver says he is open to suggestions. Hopefully he is listening.Teams finishing:
30th-25th 12% chance each
24th-21th 6% chance each
20th-17th 1% chance each