So long NBA lottery, hello draft wheel?

So long NBA lottery, hello draft wheel?
December 23, 2013, 12:30 pm
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Wizards take down Nets

Duke Blue Devils forward Jabari Parker (1) on the court against the UCLA Bruins during the first half at Madison Square Garden. The Blue Devils won 80-63.

(Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Ever since Patrick Ewing became a New York Knick, fans have screamed that the NBA Draft Lottery is fixed. How else did LeBron James end up in Cleveland, they scream, or better yet, when LeBron left, how did Cleveland again get the No. 1 pick? Answer: the draft lottery.

Well, all the conspiracy theories could soon be put to rest. Grantland.com reports that the NBA is considering replacing the lottery system with a wheel system. The lottery places all non-playoff teams into a pot for the highest draft pick weighted by just how bad each team does. The worst team has the highest odds of winning the No. 1 pick in the lottery, but it certainly does not always work out that way.

The proposed wheel system would do away with the lottery and the controversy it often creates. One huge issue with the lottery is the idea that teams "tank," or do as poorly as possible to get the best draft lottery odds. With the wheel system, every team would get the No. 1 pick every 30 years, one Top 5 pick every six years and one Top 12 pick every four years, and the picks would rotate beyond that. Below is an illustration:

The wheel theory is a long way from implementation, and comes with many critiques. More importantly it appears the NBA recognizes the problems with tanking teams and the lottery, and is considering options to make a better and more fair draft.

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