The NBA Draft is one of the biggest moments in the league every year, lately dominated by the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers picking near or at the top. That might be one of the reasons league executives were reportedly “unhappy” with the results of the lottery this time around. It didn’t help that the Boston Celtics, who reached the Eastern Conference Finals, landed the No. 1 pick via the Brooklyn Nets.
That might also be the reason NBA commissioner Adam Silver indicated the league is going to take another serious look at the lottery process, telling media on a conference call that teams sitting healthy players to improve their draft odds — or tanking, as it’s called these days — is something that drives him “crazy.”
“[The lottery] is something, as I’ve said before, we want to turn back to. We waited on the lottery in part because we wanted to see if there were going to be changes in the collective bargaining agreement that would impact how teams traded for players and how free agency worked.
“And, as you know, it stayed roughly the same, so our plan is to turn back to the lottery. I think that there are some corrections we need to make there,” Silver said, as transcribed by Alex Kennedy of Hoopshype.
The NBA has been moving toward reform in its approach to the draft order but momentum on nailing down a new process was put on the back-burner while league officials hammered out a new collective bargaining agreement with players. The one-and-done rule is something else Silver plans to take a hard look at.
The league prefers to push the age limit up to 20, while the NBPA wants to lower it down to 18.
“My sense is it’s not working for anyone,” Silver said of the current age limit of 19.
The league is set to stay in business for the foreseeable future as both sides reached an agreement early on in discussions under new leadership this time around. It appears the next big issue is adjusting the fine print regarding the draft.
Whatever the results may be, the Lakers have already cashed in on the old system over the past several years. Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and a third No. 2 pick in a row have given Los Angeles a much needed injection of youth. Change may come but the Lakers have already hoarded young talent under the present system.