NBA to Make Changes on Draft Lottery, Players Resting

The NBA voted to pass two league changes that will benefit the game experience for fans everywhere. In what was a two-day meeting in New York, the NBA Board of Governors voted on a draft lottery reform, as well as stricter guidelines for teams to rest players. The draft lottery reform needed 75% vote in favor, while the resting players guideline just needed a majority vote.

What these rules mean

A reform to the draft lottery prevents “The Process” from being a thing teams continue to do. It was put in place to discourage teams from tanking for the highest possible pick in the upcoming draft. No longer will the worst team have the highest chance of receiving the #1 pick. Instead, the bottom three teams will each have a 14% chance in obtaining the first selection. Previously, the worst team received a 25% chance. Second worst received 19.9% and third received a 15.6% chance. Now, the playing field levels out some.

The rule regarding sitting healthy players is something Commissioner Adam Silver has said needed to change. Commissioner Silver now has the ability to fine teams for unnecessarily sitting out players. Whether it be sitting multiple players out of one game, or sitting star players out of NBA televised games, Commissioner Silver has the power to hand out fines if he deems necessary. Emphasis was put in teams resting players at home, where hometown fans have the chance to see them more often, rather than on the road.

What these rules do for the NBA

I am a big fan of both these changes, and I am a Knicks fan who is looking at the lottery for the next couple of years. Preventing teams from tanking makes them compete every night. With a 25% chance of obtaining the #1 overall pick, bad teams have been rewarded for failing. I’m not saying it’s a bad plan; look at the Sixers. It got them Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz and Joel Embiid. But while Sixer fans are getting ready to reap the benefits of The Process, the process itself is a miserable product to watch. The Sixers were never televised and attendance was never great due to the common assumption that the team was tanking to build for the future. This change should alter the product put on the floor.

As for the resting players, this will hopefully get rid of the “I Came Here to See Lebron and He’s Not Playing” signs that pop up across the country every season. From a fan point of view, there’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a team come into town and rest their best player. You go to support your team, but you also go to see the best in the world compete. The same can be said for TV. Primetime games are not primetime if the stars are all sitting out. Putting morre authority in the commissioner’s hands will hopefully help both the leagues TV ratings and alleviate fan frustration.

I think both rules that were passed today are a step forward for basketball. For years, I have been a supporter of college basketball over professional basketball. I believe the product is just better in the NCAA. However, with the NCAA in a bit of destruction, these rule changes could help the NBA gain ground. I think it will definitely help enhance the product, in turn helping attendance, ratings and fan support for the league.

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