Miami Heat, NBA Draft

Pat Riley thinks a mini-playoff should replace the draft lottery

Instead of tanking, Miami Heat president Pat Riley thinks lottery teams should compete in a mini-playoff for the No. 1 NBA Draft pick.

Wouldn’t it be great if NBA team’s had to earn the top draft spot? Well, if Pat Riley were the NBA’s commissioner, tanking (or losing on purpose) wouldn’t be a thing anymore. Speaking to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel on Monday, the Miami Heat’s president said that he would have lottery teams compete in a mini-playoff tournament for the top overall NBA draft pick.

Riley also shared his displeasure with teams purposely losing as a means to get the top pick. He added that they should earn it and this mini-playoff idea would be the perfect solution to tanking.

“No more tanking at the end … so play for it. Let’s have a little playoff for the top pick in the draft,” Winderman tweeted.

Over the past few years, the NBA has been plagued with teams trying to get the top picks via tanking. Some of the teams would even tank multiple years in a row so that they can get many top picks.

In the NBA’s current system, teams with the worst NBA records get a higher chance or percentage at the top pick. Teams with better records (or ones that make or get close to the playoffs) however, would get penalized during the draft as they would get a lower percentage at the higher picks.

Riley’s idea is an entertaining one. Teams would be forced to try their best to get a player that could help them become a playoff team. Additionally, it would be fun for fans to watch as well. Rather than just watching the regular playoffs, we would also get to watch this mini tournament, where we could possibly see our favorite team battle for a highly touted prospect.

However, there are some flaws to this idea. According to The Score’s William Lou, one flaw would be playoff-seeded teams losing on purpose during the end of the regular season so that they fall out of the playoff seeds and into the lottery seeds. Instead of trying to get to the finals, these teams would be tanking so that they can compete for the top draft pick.

What are your thoughts on Riley’s plan?

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