Thursday, April 19, 2007

Greeny's NBA Draft Proposal

(Picture is property of ESPN)

As the NBA nears the playoffs, there is a buzz around the league. In most media circles though, the buzz is not about the balls being tipped to open up the 2007 playoffs, but instead the buzz is around the lottery balls churning to see who gets what pick in this years lottery draft.

With two legitimate franchise players in Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, there is an extremely strong incentive for non-playoff teams to do everything they can to land one of these "game changing" players.

Under the current NBA rules, the easiest way to get the best chance of landing one of these two players, that undoubtedly will change the course of your franchise, is to, ironically, lose the most games as possible. In the media, speculation is abound that some teams, our hometown Celtics being the main culprit, are losing games on purpose to get more of those beloved ping-pong balls.

The rules are this...the team with the worst record in the regular season gets the most balls, the team with the second worst record gets the second most balls and so on (you get the point). This, undoubtedly, is a full attack against the integrity of the NBA - but under the current rules, can you really blame teams who are not going to make the playoffs, to attempt to drastically improve their team?

Mike Greenberg from ESPN, on the Mike and Mike syndicated radio show, came up with a new system that will restore the integrity of the game by improving bad teams, but also creating an incentive to win.

Greeny's proposal is for the team with the MOST wins that does not make the playoffs gets the first pick (no ping-pong balls). The team with the second best record that does not qualify for the playoffs gets the second pick, and on-down to the team with the worst regular season record getting the 14th pick. Under this system, the Celtics would get the 13th pick of the draft, but surely would have fought a little harder for wins during the course of the season to improve their chances of getting an impact player.

Vote yes on the "Greeny" proposal. I think it is the best possible way to improve bad teams through the draft (they still have the ability to improve via free agency), but also repair the integrity of the game as no team should have incentives to ever lose.

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