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Tanking: Clear and present danger

The NBA's draft system incentivizes teams to strategically lose games in hopes of finding a franchise talent in the lottery. Meanwhile fans, players and coaches want to win now. Solving this disconnect is the first domino that must fall for a number of much-needed changes to occur.

This is HoopIdea's most important cause: Let's fix tanking.

How would you fix tanking? Put it in the comments!
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Steve Newman's profile photoNBA on ESPN's profile photoBeckley Mason's profile photoTaylor Gould's profile photo
6 comments
 
See Celtics in '08 and Celtics in '97.

Major arguments were made that they tanked in order to either get Tim Duncan in '97 or Durant/Oden in '08. Both times ended up with the 5th overall pick. Results of the following seasons aside for the C's, I do not believe tanking the season is worth a 25% chance at the top pick.
 
My suggestion to stop tanking: Don't pay players on the losing team of games. Of course every NBA contract would have to be re-written, and the players would never agree, but this would stop tanking. Make the home game per diem $1000. Make the road per diem $1500. Players on the winning team of any game get an additional 1/82nd of their contract salary. Players on the losing team forfeit 1/82nd of their contract salary.
 
You can't eliminate tanking while teams have their own 1st round draft pick and the draft order is (in part) determined by losses. A possible solution: instead of the lottery determining the draft order, each team in turn chooses another team's 1st round draft pick for the following season. e.g. The winner of the 2012 draft lottery gets ownership of the 2013 1st round pick for any team they chose (except their own), and so on of each of the 30 teams. The draft order would then proceed in decending order of wins for the owners of each teams picks. The pros of this approach would be:

- There is far less incentive to tank as teams don't own their 1st round pick, and tanking only gets them a choice of who they think will have the worst record the following year;
- Adds incentive to beat the team who's 1st round pick you own, creating a short term rivalry for the team and the fans;
- Adds incentive for the team that's been "slighted" by another team taking their pick (and implying they will lose many games);
- Fans don't have the dilemma of whether to root for their team to lose;
- Adds interest to the league for fans who have a rooting interest against the team who's 1st round pick their team owns.

There's have to be a penalty for teams trading for their own 1st round pick, but who's not rooting for another team to fail instead of your own?
 
Give the teams that BARELY miss the playoffs-9, 10 11 seeds better chances at winning the draft. Then ALL teams would be forced to either spend or develop!
 
My suggestion to eliminate tanking: Match each NBA team with a D-League team. Draft order is determined by D-League win order (so the team that wins the D-League goes first). Your draft order then bears no relation to your actual record at the NBA level. This also gives teams an incentive to invest in the D-League. It's a win-win situation.
 
My suggestion is to link draft order to the amount of bad contracts each team has given out. Can't we punish those who are making the most bad decisions over the previous 5 years? Those who have signed players to the worst contracts should be factored in with won-loss records. Their record helps them draft lower, their salary of their bottom 8 contracts by minutes mitigates this. I'm not sure how to do this, but the ones who serially sign players to bad contracts ought to be figured in. The Darko's, Rashard Lewis's, etc.
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