Now that the four-year tanking process of the Philadelphia 76ers has resulted in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, and Jahlil Okafor, the NBA is looking at reforming its draft to prevent other teams from starting their own Process.
The proposal includes having the top four picks decided by ping-pong ball instead of the top three, giving the worst three teams the same odds of landing the #1 pick, and not allowing a team to get top three picks in back-to-back drafts.
If accepted, these changes would be implemented in the 2019 draft.
Something else I wouldn’t mind seeing: having the 7th and 8th seed get one ball in there as well.
Not getting two top-three picks in consecutive years would be the most helpful to small-market teams trying to draft an All-Star. The top three picks of the past two years have gone to the Sixers, Lakers, and Celtics. In fact, the Lakers and Sixers have had top three picks three years in a row. The Sixers have had a top-three pick four years in a row. The Cavaliers famously landed the #1 pick in three out of four years.
This also doesn’t save poorly-run teams, like the non-LeBron Cavs. Consider that in the past seven years, the lowly Brooklyn Nets have not had a lottery pick. (The other teams with no lottery pick the past seven years? The Clippers, Grizzlies and Spurs.)
The main motivation of the NBA front-office to do this would be to discourage tanking. Teams tank every year, but it’s become more and more blatant, and it affects other teams’ playoff hopes. In 2016, the Utah Jazz barely missed the playoffs because other teams they needed to lose were ending their seasons against teams that sat all their starters to lose on purpose. In 2017, the same thing happened to the Miami Heat.
There are many other issues the NBA has (collusion, tampering, etc), but this would be one helpful step in making the NBA more competitive.