The NBA’s competition committee has recommended the league’s proposal on draft lottery reform to the board of governors for final approval, league sources told ESPN.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been determined to pass a plan that deters the tactic of tanking games to gain access to better odds at higher picks in the league’s annual player draft.
The competition committee also recommended a plan to the board of governors to curb the resting of healthy players in the regular season, league sources told ESPN.
The board of governors will vote on instituting the changes at a meeting in New York on Sept. 28. The plans will need a two-thirds majority to pass into legislation.
The NBA’s proposed changes to the system would begin with the 2019 NBA draft and include a smoothing out of odds among the league’s worst teams, league sources said.
For example, the three worst teams currently have a 25 percent, 19.9 percent and 15.6 percent chance of winning the No. 1 overall pick. Under the new plan, those teams would each have a 14 percent chance, league sources said, and the odds of ensuing teams would drop incrementally by a percentage point or two, league sources said.
Also, the league’s three worst teams could fall further in the lottery than currently constituted, league sources said. The worst team could drop to fifth under the new plan, down from fourth. The second-worst record could move to sixth, down from fifth.
The NBA’s 14 non-playoff teams comprise the league’s annual draft lottery system.
The NBA’s competition committee, which is made up of several general managers and coaches, voted on the proposal on Thursday in a meeting in Chicago.
At the apex of the Philadelphia 76ers tanking saga, the board of governors voted down a somewhat more liberal proposal on lottery reform in 2014.
There is trepidation among small-market teams that lottery reform will make it even harder for non-destination markets to obtain star-level players through the draft, especially because of a pervasive belief that it has become increasingly hard to do so through free agency and trades. Teams believe that the process of trading for star players has become more difficult, with agents and players warning that they’ll leave come free agency and will never consider re-signing with those teams.