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Poll: Is Wheel System Ideal Solution For Draft?

Earlier today, we passed along a piece from Grantland’s Zach Lowe that outlined a proposal to overhaul the draft system, by abolishing the lottery and introducing a “wheel” system. The proposal, which is in the very early stages of being considered by the league office, would ensure that every NBA team drafted once in each spot between 1 and 30 over a period of 30 seasons. Teams would receive a top-six pick once every five years, under the proposed cycle.

There would be plenty of pros for such a system, which would entirely disincentivize tanking and would provide each team with an equal opportunity to add young talent. However, you could argue there’d be just as many cons. Bottom-dwelling teams would only be guaranteed one high pick every few years, which could make for a significant uphill climb, and may result in years of apathy from fans. It’s also not hard to imagine college players deciding whether or not to enter the draft based on which teams are known to have high picks for that year.

Our earlier post and Lowe’s original article detail plenty more pros and cons, and if the NBA ever became serious about implementing the idea, it’s possible that it would undergo several modifications before taking effect. Still, based on the general concept, do you like the idea of the wheel system? Is it improvement on the current draft lottery, or would it simply create a new and equally problematic set of issues? And if you don’t think either system is ideal, what would your preference be?

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5 thoughts on “Poll: Is Wheel System Ideal Solution For Draft?

  1. Adam Gingrich

    I’m more in favour of adopting Adam Gold’s strategy where the team that wins the most games after being eliminated from playoff contention gets the first overall pick, and continues from there. The worst team would have the best opportunity to get 1st overall, and would also have incentive to try and win games. It’s still an imperfect system, but I think it is superior to the wheel.

  2. omar jimenez

    I think adding a 3 year history for wins and losses should play a part. It better evaluates teams performance over time versus just 1 tanked season.

  3. Z....

    the wheel is atrocious..I’d MUCH rather keep things how they are. I dont like the idea of calling it tanking. Rebuilding teams trade certain players and generally benefit from those deals. Its part of development. The only problem I see with the lottery is that the worst team isnt guaranteed the #1 pick.

  4. I think the wheel is very innovative and personally I like it a lot. I can’t agree with the best team in the league potentially getting the #1 pick though. I wonder if there can”t be some way to modify the wheel or modify the current lottery so that we could discourage tanking more.

  5. Brandon

    I think rookies should come in as free agents. Sounds crazy at first, but think “what if”
    for a second. Bigger market teams (who have an easier time attracting free agent talent) like the Heat, both NYC teams, both LA teams, the Bulls etc. are currently up against the cap, as is, and couldn’t really make a play at the best of the best incoming talent without freeing up space (by moving veteran, proven talent). And if a record based spending pool were introduced, similar to baseball’s new system, that would give worse teams, a larger financial insentive to bait players with, in the form of a weighted cap exception… It’s not a perfect system, but it eliminates most of the insentive to completely tank. GM’s could trade future cap exceptions in the same way they trade picks, etc. The hope would be that the smaller (classically less talented) clubs could battle the bigger markets’ ability to form “big 3s and 4s” by being savvy with their collection of young talent, that wouldn’t necessarily require a lost season to attract them. It would give more teams the opportunity to “become OKC” (a city that normally wouldn’t attract free agents, but the organization was able to acquire a core of talent that made the team a winner/attractive destination). And not because the pingpong balls deemed it so, but because they have savvy GMs.

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