Poll: Should The NBA Address Tanking?

The Suns, at 23-48 and in last place in the Western Conference, have little to play for this season, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty at stake in the next few weeks for Phoenix. The Suns entered the night in a jumble of nine teams within five games of each other at the bottom of the standings, as our tentative draft order shows. A rare win could compromise the team's chance at landing the No. 1 overall pick in the draft lottery, which currently stands at 11.9%. A win against the Jazz tonight would be twice as damaging.

Thanks to the Steve Nash sign-and-trade this past summer, the Suns will receive the Lakers' first-round pick this year if L.A. fails to make the playoffs. If the Lakers manage to sneak into the postseason, that pick goes to the Cavs, and Phoenix would instead receive Miami's pick, which will almost certainly be 30th overall. The Jazz sit one game behind the Lakers for the final playoff spot in the West, and they catch a break tonight. Suns starting point guard Goran Dragic isn't playing against Utah, and the team says the move is to allow Dragic to rest while rookies Kendall Marshall and Diante Garrett see more playing time, according to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic. Dragic, the team's leading scorer, is healthy and says he would play if he were allowed. Skeptics may wonder whether the Suns' true intentions have more to do with the draft than they're letting on.

Also tonight, the Magic gave up a 19-point lead after one quarter and lost to the Bobcats, bringing Orlando to within a half game of Charlotte for the league's worst record. If the Magic eclipse the Bobcats for that mark, they'll improve their chances at the No. 1 pick by 5.1%. 

The draft lottery was instituted in 1985 in part to remove the incentive for teams to intentionally lose games to improve their draft stock, but nearly three decades later, the strategy of tanking appears to be alive and well. Proposals abound on how to fix the problem, from giving each team in the lottery an equal chance at the top pick to instituting a playoff for the No. 1 overall selection. We'll surely hear plenty such ideas in the next few weeks, but the central question is simply whether or not the NBA should take measures to encourage teams at the bottom of the standings to stay competitive toward the end of the season. Let us know your thoughts by voting, and if you have an idea for a system of awarding draft positions that would encourage teams to try to win, post it in the comments.

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18 thoughts on “Poll: Should The NBA Address Tanking?

  1. I think they should leave it. Sure some teams tank but how would it be fair if a team that just missed the playoff gets the first pick while the worst team gets the last pick of the lottery

    • alphakira

      But currently it’s very possible for the team that just missed the playoffs to get it…so it’s sort of broken already.

      • but giving every team and equal chance that would be more broken. id rather leave it as it is then give every non playoff team an equal chance

        • alphakira

          Well, I sort of agree, but then again, should the teams that are trying for a playoff spot and making the sport more competitive be penalized while the teams that are losing intentionally be given first shot at the Kyrie Irvings of the world? I’m sort of playing devils advocate as I don’t have an answer either way, it just seems a bit unfair that the constant fringe teams like the Bucks and Rockets are always struggling to get to that next tier while teams like the Bobcats are always given chance for talent and always fail to capitalize on that chance.

          • Its a good point and honestly i dont think there is one perfect way to do it

        • Ryan Pace

          Take the top ten picks and freeze them for the bottom ten teams. Give each of the bottom ten teams one entry in a lottery and draw for the order. Organize the rest of the picks from worst to best record for the remaining teams and call it a day. If a team outside the lottery wants to trade in to it make them sacrifice their first and second round pick to the team they are trading with.

  2. Z....

    they seriously need to address officiating, as does major league baseball with their umpires. I’ve said many times that this streak doesnt matter, and i honestly thought the heat would lose tonight, but I would like to see a game decided by the players on the court and not the trash officiating throughout the game

    • alphakira

      Couldn’t agree more. They lost against Orlando and they probably should’ve lost against Milwaukee. The amazing part is is that LeBron came out tonight and threw a tempter tantrum and walked off the court because he said he’s not getting the calls. IS HE SERIOUS?! Someone sneezes towards him and it’s a flagrant 2.

      • Z....

        you’re just a hater dude. I’m surprised that the entire heat team and coach spo didnt get ejected in the first quarter last night. I know I would have been bc the alls against the heat were down right ridiculous last night. It was smart of them to walk off he court before they did anything they would regret b/c I have no idea how they held back from punching the refs in the face. Also, that last sentence couldnt be any more false. Lebron (and wade) take really hard shots throughout almost every game, and I could see at least 4 times last night where Lebron got hit in the face with no call. My favorite call was probably at the end of the game though when battier “fouled” boozer on the rebound lol. he never even touched him. How bout that 1st quarter 8 second violation that the refs for some reason decided didnt apply to the bulls? seriously? the refs were garbage last night and thats something that is a a lot more consistent than just the one night. Its across the league too. It doesnt just happen to us. I’m just saying that it was directed towards us last night

        • alphakira

          Here’s some facts for you: LeBron went six straight games this year (254 minutes) without having a single foul called on him. In 2009 he had went his career without ever fouling out – even Jordan had fouled out 8 times HIS first 6 years. On average he “fouls” less player than any other player in the NBA with as many minutes. You mean to tell me you seriously believe he doesn’t get every call he wants? You DO realize that Bosh, a Miami player, has entire memes dedicated to him flopping right?

          As for your “assessment” that you have no idea how they “didn’t punch the refs in the face”…do I even need to answer that? These are grown men. That’s probably why they didn’t.

          You can pick out all of the calls the refs “missed” but the fact is is that the only reason they had a fake 27 game streak is because the refs allowed them to. If you have any other issues you’re free to go back and look at the foul he “didn’t” commit on Durant in game 2 last year and how when the situation was reversed the refs handed Miami the championship.

          • You can never reason with a heat fan because when they win its all good but as soon as they lose it couldnt be because they got outplayed in the game it had to be the refs

    • not sure which calls your talking about but the officiating was bad both ways

      • Z....

        to be fair, as a bulls fan, you probably werent paying attention to how terrible the calls were. I always will say when we get a call, and I admit that there was one play where Bosh might have gotten away with a travel (it wasnt the continuation call b/c that was the right call). Other than that, it was one sided, and terrible, officiating from the start

        • your a heat fan so obviously when the heat lose first is to the blame the refs and cry for more fouls like lebo

          • alphakira

            It’s a conspiracy. The refs let the Heat win until the “magical” 27 and then took it all away from them as they laughed maniacally. Now D Rose is going to take off his mask and hit LeBron in the back with a chair to reveal that the Bulls will be champions with the help of the refs!!!

            Right Z? It’s about as far fetched as saying they made it 27 games without the officiating letting them have their way and suddenly they just changed their minds.

  3. John Donovan

    Let them tank. How many times in the 15 years has the worst team ended up with the #1 pick? I only recall once or twice, but I know it isn’t every time.

    The only thing I don’t understand is, why in the hell they would want to tank this year? It’s not like there is a LeBron or Anthony Davis or John Wall coming out. This is an Andrea Bargnani or Kwame Brown type draft. All the tanking teams are doing is vying for the right to overpay a guy not worthy of the #1 overall pick.

  4. Z....

    I remember when the Heat had an over 25% chance to get the #1 pick while the Bulls had less than a 2% chance. thats how you get Derrick Rose right there while the worst team in the league doesnt get the #1 pick. tanking doesnt change anything. neither does actually losing the games. Its all based on pure luck in the lottery. I always thought that it might need to be addressed. the NBA is the only draft that decides its draft order this way. Theres probably a reason for that

  5. Sky14

    As a T-Wolves fan they need to do away with the lottery. Clearly teams are going to tank regardless if there is a lottery and the proposed “fixes” sound even worse.
    The game already has a PR problem as being fixed with calls favoring certain teams and players (They had a ref go to prison for fixing playoff games!) and the lottery doesn’t help that cause. It would do away with some of the conspiracy thories about the NBA.

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