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?