THURSDAY, 8:44am: A Sixers source tells Jason Wolf of the Wilmington News Journal that Philadelphia isn’t particularly opposed to the notion of evening the odds for the top pick, but the source nonetheless indicates that the Sixers aren’t high on the idea. An Eastern Conference executive who spoke with Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes that the Sixers’ lack of effort to field a competitive roster is negatively affecting the integrity of the league. A vote to approve the league’s proposal could take place as early as October, Pompey writes.
WEDNESDAY, 9:14am: The Sixers are resisting proposed changes to the draft lottery system, but their lengthy rebuilding process and willingness to build non-competitive rosters has curbed revenues and angered other teams, reports Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. The league has put forth a proposal to even out the odds for the top pick by as soon as next year, giving the team with the worst record in the NBA significantly longer odds of winning the lottery.
The league’s proposal would grant the top four teams in the lottery the same 11% odds of winning the No. 1 overall pick, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe explained a few weeks ago. All of those teams would have better odds under the current system. The Sixers finished with the second-worst record in the league last year, and there’s seemingly a strong chance they’re even worse this coming season, especially if they deal away Thaddeus Young, who’s been in multiple trade rumors of late, for little or no immediate return. Philadelphia is hoping to delay any change in the lottery until at least 2016, Windhorst writes.
GM Sam Hinkie‘s team will also be without Joel Embiid, who has a broken foot, and Dario Saric, who’s playing overseas, to start next season, meaning the Sixers will be without both of the players they netted with their pair of lottery picks from last month. The Sixers took a similar long-range approach last summer when they drafted injured center Nerlens Noel, who missed his entire first season.
The Sixers had the second-worst attendance in the league last season despite their presence in large-market Philadelphia. Smaller-market teams typically stand to benefit from the NBA’s revenue sharing plan that redistributes cash from franchises in urban hubs. The NBA has remediation plans in place to address teams that fall short of expectations based on market size, but it appears as though the Sixers aren’t carrying the weight that many other franchises expect them to.