Lottery Reform, Tanking & What it Means for the Dallas Mavericks
Now that a lottery reform has passed in the NBA, how will it affect tanking and the Dallas Mavericks moving forward?
On September 28th, news broke that owners across the league voted to pass the new lottery reform that changes the percentages at the bottom of the league for the top picks in the draft.
Under the newly passed system, the worst three teams in the league will now have equal odds of landing the top pick in the draft. On top of that, each team in the lottery will now have better chances of landing higher in the draft by a small margin.
The vote among the owners took place and 28 franchises voted in favor of it. One franchise voted against it (OKC) and one franchise abstained from the vote.
The one franchise that abstained from the vote was the Dallas Mavericks.
Why would Dallas abstain from the vote?
My guess, Mark Cuban thinks the idea doesn’t change anything and I would agree if that is the case.
Under the newly passed reform, these are the new lottery odds moving forward starting in the 2019 NBA Draft.
Personally, the new reform simply shifts the focus of tanking from quality to quantity.
Over the past few seasons the league has sat back and watched teams across the league tank at a historic rate while some teams were resting completely healthy players in order to have the highest possible draft pick and the best chance at obtaining the number one pick.
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Yes, the top three teams have equal odds, but what about the fourth to seventh worst teams in the league that is within distance of getting into that top three because they know if they lose themselves into the third worst record that they will have equal the opportunity of landing the top pick in the draft.
Yes, this solves a couple of the worst teams in the league trying to out tank each other, but does this increase the amount of teams that will try to tank towards the end of the season?
I believe so.
New York, Orlando, Philly and Minnesota were all under five losses from the third worst record in the league last year. How much would these teams have tanked at the end of the season if just a few more losses meant an equal chance at the top pick in the draft?
How it affects Dallas this season is exactly the same way. What if Dallas is sitting with the sixth or seventh worst record in the league in March and only five or so losses away from the third worst record?
There might be a real internal discussion about trying to get to that third spot and having equal odds for the top pick in the draft.
For this reason, I believe the quality of tanking might go down with the obvious worst teams in the league, but the quantity of teams tanking in the second half of the season might go up.
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Dallas obviously abstained from the vote for a reason and I believe it is because Cuban probably thinks the solution is ineffective and that change should be made, just another solution could be a better option.