The days of tanking in the NBA could be coming to an end this season.
A new report from Zach Lowe of Grantland, updates us on a potential major shift to the NBA's lottery system.
The NBA favors tweaking the lottery odds so the worst teams at the top of the lottery have a reduced chance of landing a top-three pick, with a corresponding improvement in odds for the best teams in the lottery. ...There appears to be broad support among the league’s 30 teams for the NBA’s proposal, per several sources. Ownership groups could vote on it as early as this season, and a powerful distaste for Philly’s multiyear tanking adventure is driving the reform movement.
The move would likely be welcomed locally. Boston has positioned themselves to be a middle-of-the-pack lottery team this season whose odds would probably improve as a result of the changes. Additionally, the Celtics have stockpiled a tremendous number of first round picks over the next five seasons from other teams.
Not all of those picks will come from potential lottery squads, as first round selections acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Clippers over the next two years will surely fall in the latter stages of the first round.
Remember those first round picks from the Brooklyn Nets via the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett deal though? In 2016 and 2018, those selections might end proving to be more valuable than anticipated for Boston if the lottery changes go into effect by then. With the Nets' salary cap spending sharply on the decline, there's a solid chance Brooklyn could slip into the lottery one of those two seasons, giving the Celtics heightened odds at winning a high draft pick in 2016 or 2018.
Either way, it appears the days of rooting for bad teams to lose in the closing stages of an NBA season may be coming to a merciful conclusion. That should be counted as a good thing for the league's future.