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View Full Version : the Dyin' for Zion race



hsheffield
01-27-2019, 06:50 PM
https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/chicago-bulls-cleveland-cavaliers-jim-boylen-zion-williamson-nba-lottery-kris-dunn/

JasonEvans
01-27-2019, 08:49 PM
In an effort to prevent teams from tanking too hard, the NBA has flattened out the lottery odds this season. There is no difference at all in the bottom 3 or 4 teams in terms of their odds of winning one of the top 4 picks. The lottery used to be for the top 3 picks, but the NBA enlarged it to 4 to further discourage teams from tanking. The way it works now, there is an almost 50% chance that the team that tanked the hardest with the worst record ends up with the 5th pick... ouch! Here is a chart of the odds of getting each pick.

https://i.ibb.co/Ht3Ry2x/Capture.png

-Jason "so the Bulls falling to the Cavs doesn't really mean all that much... they are both headed into the bottom 3 or 4 with pretty much identical odds of winning the Zion sweepstakes" Evans

devilsince1977
01-28-2019, 07:06 AM
The NBA is missing an opportunity to make more games at the end of the regular season competitive and meaningful. They could base the draft order on the records of the last 10 teams over the last 20 games. The best record over those 20 games gets the 1st pick, 2nd best record gets #2, etc. That would mean bad teams would have an incentive to try to win at the end of the season to "earn" the right to pick first. I am sure people will say that the schedules are not equal, but 20 games should make it fairly level. It is no more random than the lottery is now. It still gives the bad teams a chance to build through the draft. I am sure there are other ideas and this may have been discussed previously (Knowing DBR, I expect it has), but I heard this years ago and can't figure out why the NBA is so willing to put up with tanking.

Acymetric
01-28-2019, 08:26 AM
Does this end up reducing tanking, or does it incentive additional teams to try for the bottom 4 slots instead of just trying for the bottom 1?

JasonEvans
01-28-2019, 08:47 AM
The NBA is missing an opportunity to make more games at the end of the regular season competitive and meaningful. They could base the draft order on the records of the last 10 teams over the last 20 games. The best record over those 20 games gets the 1st pick, 2nd best record gets #2, etc. That would mean bad teams would have an incentive to try to win at the end of the season to "earn" the right to pick first. I am sure people will say that the schedules are not equal, but 20 games should make it fairly level. It is no more random than the lottery is now. It still gives the bad teams a chance to build through the draft. I am sure there are other ideas and this may have been discussed previously (Knowing DBR, I expect it has), but I heard this years ago and can't figure out why the NBA is so willing to put up with tanking.

The idea behind the draft is to give the worst teams the best future players as a way of balancing out the league. Your proposal would give the best players to the best team among the ten worst. That would seem to be in direct opposition to the concept of the draft. I mean, in your proposal, there could be a real incentive for middle of the pack teams to tank and then turn it on at the end of the season. I mean, picking first in the draft is a heck of a lot better than being the #7 or #8 seed in the playoffs, right?

I actually think the revised system that flattens out the lottery odds is a good disincentive for tanking, though you cannot flatten it too much if you want to make sure you really are helping the truly awful teams. I think ensuring that the worst team gets no worst than the #5 pick makes sense too.

I'd like to see some kind of cap relief for teams that are really bad too, as a way of encouraging them to spend to get better. Perhaps you could give the bottom 5 or 7 teams an extra Mid-Level Exception (which can be used to spend about $9-mil on a player) each year to allow them to sign an extra decent player.

-Jason "since the Sixers rose up, everyone is embracing the tank... sigh" Evans

75Crazie
01-28-2019, 09:14 AM
Does this end up reducing tanking, or does it incentive additional teams to try for the bottom 4 slots instead of just trying for the bottom 1?
Dr. Pedantic just threw up in his coffee.

Acymetric
01-28-2019, 09:20 AM
Dr. Pedantic just threw up in his coffee.

Argh! Autocorrect strikes again...too late to edit!

HereBeforeCoachK
01-28-2019, 09:20 AM
Does this end up reducing tanking, or does it incentive additional teams to try for the bottom 4 slots instead of just trying for the bottom 1?

----- Yes

OldPhiKap
01-28-2019, 09:21 AM
The NBA should have relegation like the EPL. No tanking there.

Acymetric
01-28-2019, 09:26 AM
The NBA should have relegation like the EPL. No tanking there.

The NBA or MLB are probably the best set up to implement relegation with (relatively) minimal effort (with MLS closely behind). I would love it. It bothers me to no end (although I understand the economic reasons behind it) that MLS does not do relegation. Forget trying to get an MLS expansion team in Raleigh...the Railhawks [sic] can just win their way to the MLS!

uh_no
01-28-2019, 09:35 AM
The NBA should have relegation like the EPL. No tanking there.


I was going to suggest the same thing. pro-rel has a lot of issues (teams going bankrupt after falling through the floor), but it also solves a lot of problems, which are bigger than the problems it causes. The fact that everyone is playing meaningful games all year is huge. teams playing for the title, teams playing for "playoffs" (which in europe is champions + europa league) or in lower leagues, promotion, and teams playing to avoid relegation. There are incentives to win up and down the table. That simply makes for great viewing all year. The cavs and knicks playing to see who gets to stay in the league next year? I barely watch any NBA, but I'd be all over that. Americans love a fall from grace story, and you can bet they'd be all over that.

Even more, it means you can't run your team like Nolan or Wilpon where you only care about extracting max value, since then you end up relegated. It forces everyone to be invested in winning to some degree (of course, you can still do similar things, like arsenal, where you consistently invest just enough to not get relegated...but at least then you still have a shot)

That said, I don't see it happening in MLS short of FIFA forcing domestic leagues to have pro-rel to be WC eligible...the owners hold all the rights (to MLS and the real cash cow...USMNT), and aren't going to want to be forced to sell those (btw, if you want reason to hate robert kraft anymore, the only reason he is an MLS owner is to be a shareholder in SUM and milk the media rights in US soccer...he doesn't give a rat about the revs or soccer in this country in general)

jimsumner
01-28-2019, 09:56 AM
The NBA or MLB are probably the best set up to implement relegation with (relatively) minimal effort (with MLS closely behind). I would love it. It bothers me to no end (although I understand the economic reasons behind it) that MLS does not do relegation. Forget trying to get an MLS expansion team in Raleigh...the Railhawks [sic] can just win their way to the MLS!

Since every Triple-A minor league baseball team has a working relationship with a major league team, I do not see how relegation would work.

History lesson.

All of this started in the late 1960s, when Lew Alcindor/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was such a transcendent talent that NBA GMs would have sacrificed their first-born for a chance to get him.

So, the NBA decided the bottom two teams would have a coin flip to determine the first pick. Milwaukee won the toss and Phoenix got stuck with Neal Walk.

Yes, that Neal Walk. He actually wasn't a bad player. But he was no Jabbar.

I do think flattening the odds is the most rational approach.

flyingdutchdevil
01-28-2019, 10:07 AM
The NBA or MLB are probably the best set up to implement relegation with (relatively) minimal effort (with MLS closely behind). I would love it. It bothers me to no end (although I understand the economic reasons behind it) that MLS does not do relegation. Forget trying to get an MLS expansion team in Raleigh...the Railhawks [sic] can just win their way to the MLS!

NBA wouldn't make any sense. Not enough large markets. If New Orleans is thinking about leaving for Seattle, how do you expect any of the D-League teams (for instance, Fort Wayne, South Bay, Delaware, Santa Cruz, etc) to compete financially with any large market?

thedukelamere
01-28-2019, 10:22 AM
I forget where I heard it, maybe ESPN1000, but some talking heads were discussing the implications of having a "Loser's Bracket" at the end of the year to determine who gets the top pick... Bottom 8 teams go in, winner of the bracket gets Zion. Keeps teams (relatively) honest, being that 8th worst team gets you home-court advantage, gives their fan bases a 3-5-7 game series at the end of the year with some stakes on the line, plus potentially rewards one of those middling teams who might be one player away from making the leap into contender status.

As a Bulls fan, I don't think they could win a tourney like that, but I'd rather go cheer them on and hope for the best instead of crossing my fingers at a 14% shot at a ping pong ball.

Acymetric
01-28-2019, 10:28 AM
Since every Triple-A minor league baseball team has a working relationship with a major league team, I do not see how relegation would work.

History lesson.

All of this started in the late 1960s, when Lew Alcindor/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was such a transcendent talent that NBA GMs would have sacrificed their first-born for a chance to get him.

So, the NBA decided the bottom two teams would have a coin flip to determine the first pick. Milwaukee won the toss and Phoenix got stuck with Neal Walk.

Yes, that Neal Walk. He actually wasn't a bad player. But he was no Jabbar.

I do think flattening the odds is the most rational approach.

The (relatively) minimal effort would be divorcing the farm teams from their parent clubs. I included "relatively" there because, while that is a significant task with all kinds of problems to be worked out, it is less significant than, say, the NFL having to create a second domestic league for relegation. I'm certainly not trying to suggest that it would happen for any league here, even though I might enjoy it. Just that MLB and NBA (and probably MLS) have the most existing infrastructure to work with if we were going to implement it.


NBA wouldn't make any sense. Not enough large markets. If New Orleans is thinking about leaving for Seattle, how do you expect any of the D-League teams (for instance, Fort Wayne, South Bay, Delaware, Santa Cruz, etc) to compete financially with any large market?

I mean...you don't. Teams that get relegated in large markets will typically move back up because they have more resources. Teams that get promoted from small markets will typically get moved back down because they have less. It isn't like teams promoted from the Championship league (or whatever the next step down is called now) in England are regularly competing for the EPL championship when they get promoted.

Truth&Justise
01-28-2019, 10:37 AM
My woeful Washington Wizards should be entering this race wholeheartedly, but alas they will instead throw all resources into being the 8th seed in the East and losing in the first round.

JasonEvans
01-28-2019, 10:51 AM
Since every Triple-A minor league baseball team has a working relationship with a major league team, I do not see how relegation would work.

What's more, baseball requires some period of adjustment as you move up through the ranks. It is quite rare for high school or even college players to be ready for even AAA ball, let alone the Majors. Relegation to AAA makes no sense at all.


History lesson.

All of this started in the late 1960s, when Lew Alcindor/Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was such a transcendent talent that NBA GMs would have sacrificed their first-born for a chance to get him.

So, the NBA decided the bottom two teams would have a coin flip to determine the first pick. Milwaukee won the toss and Phoenix got stuck with Neal Walk.

Yes, that Neal Walk. He actually wasn't a bad player. But he was no Jabbar.

The coin flip for the #1 pick actually began in 1966, I believe. Jabbar did not graduate from UCLA until 1969... though it is entirely possible the NBA forsaw how valuable Jabbar would be and implemented a new draft system in advance of him graduating. He was that good (cue story of how he led the UCLA freshman team over the UCLA varsity in a year where the varsity would go on to be national champs or something like that).

The lottery actually began in 1985 because teams were supposedly talking about tanking to get Patrick Ewing. Back then all 7 teams in the lottery had an equal shot at the #1 pick (cue story of David Stern and the frozen envelope to ensure Ewing wound up in NY).

-Jason "the weighted lottery that mostly remains in use today didn't come along until 1990" Evans

House P
01-28-2019, 12:21 PM
While I personally like the idea of relegation in the NBA, I agree with others than it is extremely unlikely to ever be implemented. I just don’t see the incentive for any ownership group to support a system which puts their investment at risk of relegation. So, if relegation is not feasible, here is another way to discourage "extreme tanking".

What if, rather than being relegated, the bottom two teams in each conference were ineligible for the draft lottery?*

The top pick would still most likely go to a bad team, but there would be zero incentive to field the worst team possible. Could also make for some very interesting games during the last month or so of the season.



*I would have the worst 4 teams pick 11-14 in the draft.

Messimorgan17
01-28-2019, 01:33 PM
Rumors today that if the ny knocks get the no pick for Zion they might try to package it with other assets for Anthony Davis who is on the trade block.

Avvocato
01-28-2019, 01:47 PM
As a Knick ticket holder, the Knick fan brace has totally bought into tanking this year. That's mainly because with Porzingis out injured, there was no hope anyway. The team is trying to play its young players, hopefully lose, and get a top draft pick. It's basically one year of patience by Knicks fans. Next year, they hope with a top pick, a healthy Porzingis, development by their young core, and cap space for one elite free agent this summer (after they re-sign Porzingis this summer their cap room basically goes away), they can start doing something (though I've been hearing that for years). However, maybe the incentive should be that if you fall into the bottom 4 teams for a second year in a row, you can't get a top-4 pick that year (just get placed where you would be if you failed to secure a top-4 pick).

Additionally, I have stayed with the Knicks for more years than is rational during this horrific stretch, but if they were relegated to some lower league, adios. Can't see owners agreeing to that either for that reason.

Messimorgan17
01-28-2019, 02:02 PM
As a Knick ticket holder, the Knick fan brace has totally bought into tanking this year. That's mainly because with Porzingis out injured, there was no hope anyway. The team is trying to play its young players, hopefully lose, and get a top draft pick. It's basically one year of patience by Knicks fans. Next year, they hope with a top pick, a healthy Porzingis, development by their young core, and cap space for one elite free agent this summer (after they re-sign Porzingis this summer their cap room basically goes away), they can start doing something (though I've been hearing that for years). However, maybe the incentive should be that if you fall into the bottom 4 teams for a second year in a row, you can't get a top-4 pick that year (just get placed where you would be if you failed to secure a top-4 pick).

Additionally, I have stayed with the Knicks for more years than is rational during this horrific stretch, but if they were relegated to some lower league, adios. Can't see owners agreeing to that either for that reason.

Dolan needs to go! ...boy were they lucky in 2015-2016 when they refused to tank the last week of the season and ended up with Porzingis over Jah.

flyingdutchdevil
01-28-2019, 02:12 PM
I mean...you don't. Teams that get relegated in large markets will typically move back up because they have more resources. Teams that get promoted from small markets will typically get moved back down because they have less. It isn't like teams promoted from the Championship league (or whatever the next step down is called now) in England are regularly competing for the EPL championship when they get promoted.

Tell that to Leichester FC, who went from Championship in 2014 to winning the Premier League in 2016. Soccer is different. Because there is no cap and soooooo many players and teams, teams can compete without a lot of $$$. The NBA is a very top talent heavy league. Lebron going to a lousy LA Lakers team makes the Lakers competitive. Messi or Ronaldo going to Newcastle FC turns Newcastle into...ummmm...a top 15 team in the Premiership?

JNort
01-28-2019, 02:14 PM
The NBA is missing an opportunity to make more games at the end of the regular season competitive and meaningful. They could base the draft order on the records of the last 10 teams over the last 20 games. The best record over those 20 games gets the 1st pick, 2nd best record gets #2, etc. That would mean bad teams would have an incentive to try to win at the end of the season to "earn" the right to pick first. I am sure people will say that the schedules are not equal, but 20 games should make it fairly level. It is no more random than the lottery is now. It still gives the bad teams a chance to build through the draft. I am sure there are other ideas and this may have been discussed previously (Knowing DBR, I expect it has), but I heard this years ago and can't figure out why the NBA is so willing to put up with tanking.
Yeah this is similar to what I've brought up here before but as Jason points out your model makes it easier for the 10th best team to get the number 1 pick over the worst team.


Mine was: Start counting the wins after a team is officially eliminated from the playoff race. Whomever has the most wins at the end of the year gets first pick and it goes all the way down to the last team that didn't make the playoffs. It would make the 2nd half of the season more entertaining especially if say it's the final game of the season and the Cavs need 1 more win to get the first pick over the Bulls but they are playing the Hornets who are also one game back of the 8 seed and also need a win. Normally the Cavs in the current structure would just roll over and the Hornets get the easy win, in my scenario both teams are truly fighting it out. That would be a fun finish going into playoff season.

JNort
01-28-2019, 02:17 PM
As a Knick ticket holder, the Knick fan brace has totally bought into tanking this year. That's mainly because with Porzingis out injured, there was no hope anyway. The team is trying to play its young players, hopefully lose, and get a top draft pick. It's basically one year of patience by Knicks fans. Next year, they hope with a top pick, a healthy Porzingis, development by their young core, and cap space for one elite free agent this summer (after they re-sign Porzingis this summer their cap room basically goes away), they can start doing something (though I've been hearing that for years). However, maybe the incentive should be that if you fall into the bottom 4 teams for a second year in a row, you can't get a top-4 pick that year (just get placed where you would be if you failed to secure a top-4 pick).

Additionally, I have stayed with the Knicks for more years than is rational during this horrific stretch, but if they were relegated to some lower league, adios. Can't see owners agreeing to that either for that reason.

I don't care for the Knicks but I would love to see Kyrie sign there in the off-season. Young core of Kyrie, Porzingas, Knox, and this year's draft pick would be interesting.

ncexnyc
01-28-2019, 02:33 PM
If any team will get screwed by the lottery rules it will be my Knicks.:(

Acymetric
01-28-2019, 02:46 PM
Tell that to Leichester FC, who went from Championship in 2014 to winning the Premier League in 2016. Soccer is different. Because there is no cap and soooooo many players and teams, teams can compete without a lot of $$$. The NBA is a very top talent heavy league. Lebron going to a lousy LA Lakers team makes the Lakers competitive. Messi or Ronaldo going to Newcastle FC turns Newcastle into...ummmm...a top 15 team in the Premiership?

I said "not regularly" instead of "never" specifically because of Leichester FC, but that was a huge story because it was such a rare (unprecedented?) occurrence. I think that supports my point, rather than detracts from it, which is that it hardly ever happens and teams promoted from the lower league are not necessarily expected to be competing for championships unless they can sustain their status in the top league for an extended period of time.

As far as money and talent distribution, there would need to be so many changes to the way contracts, profit sharing, trades/free agency, and a bunch of other things work that I think it is hard to really project what things would be like without proposing some kind of new framework. If such a thing happened, there would probably be a change in talent distribution. I'm also not sure how having no cap would be helpful to the teams with less money.

uh_no
01-28-2019, 02:50 PM
I said "not regularly" instead of "never" specifically because of Leichester FC, but that was a huge story because it was such a rare (unprecedented?) occurrence. I think that supports my point, rather than detracts from it, which is that it hardly ever happens and teams promoted from the lower league are not necessarily expected to be competing for championships unless they can sustain their status in the top league for an extended period of time.

As far as money and talent distribution, there would need to be so many changes to the way contracts, profit sharing, trades/free agency, and a bunch of other things work that I think it is hard to really project what things would be like without proposing some kind of new framework. If such a thing happened, there would probably be a change in talent distribution.

and it would almost assuredly mean the end of college sports as a minor league....since in a pro-rel system, teams are rewarded for developing in house (especially at lower flights, since you can't move up by buying players). You end up with closer to the baseball system, but with more than just 30 teams vying for the talent to develop.

Acymetric
01-28-2019, 02:51 PM
and it would almost assuredly mean the end of college sports as a minor league...since in a pro-rel system, teams are rewarded for developing in house (especially at lower flights, since you can't move up by buying players). You end up with closer to the baseball system, but with more than just 30 teams vying for the talent to develop.

Yep, this is probably true. And to be clear, this is all "wouldn't it be fun if", I'm not suggesting that the NBA would or even should entertain this, but it is a fun idea to entertain as a fan. You probably end up with AAU teams being assimilated into youth teams for various pro teams, sort of like "academies" except I would expect in the US they will focus purely on the sports and leave the academics to existing institutions. High end competitive high-school basketball would probably dry up a bit as well with top players gravitating exclusively to these youth squads associated with teams where they probably get paid.

uh_no
01-28-2019, 03:17 PM
Yep, this is probably true. And to be clear, this is all "wouldn't it be fun if", I'm not suggesting that the NBA would or even should entertain this, but it is a fun idea to entertain as a fan. You probably end up with AAU teams being assimilated into youth teams for various pro teams, sort of like "academies" except I would expect in the US they will focus purely on the sports and leave the academics to existing institutions. High end competitive high-school basketball would probably dry up a bit as well with top players gravitating exclusively to these youth squads associated with teams where they probably get paid.

there are some AAU teams that are well connected enough that I wouldn't be surprised if they climbed up the ladders and ended up knocking on the doors of some of the top couple tiers....

OldPhiKap
01-28-2019, 08:11 PM
Tell that to Leichester FC, who went from Championship in 2014 to winning the Premier League in 2016. Soccer is different. Because there is no cap and soooooo many players and teams, teams can compete without a lot of $$$. The NBA is a very top talent heavy league. Lebron going to a lousy LA Lakers team makes the Lakers competitive. Messi or Ronaldo going to Newcastle FC turns Newcastle into...ummmm...a top 15 team in the Premiership?

True, although Leicester City went off at 500-1 when the season started.

Netflix has a short series “Sunderland Til I Die,” about what a team goes through when relegated. Fascinating.