As the NBA attempts to reduce tanking, Detroit Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy believes they should take it a step further.
A couple days ago, the NBA Board of Governors approved changes to the NBA Draft Lottery system. Now, the top three teams with the worst records will have the same odds of obtaining the No. 1 overall pick. All three teams will have a 14 percent chance.
However, the changes to the system won’t come into effect until the 2019 NBA Draft. Under the current structure, the team with the worst record has a 25 percent chance of leading the top pick. While the second-worst record has a 19.9 percent chance and the third-worst record has a 15.6 percent chance.
This new system should help reduce tanking quite a bit. Over the past few seasons, the Philadelphia 76ers became the poster child of this act. During this period, they were able to obtain the likes of Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and now Markelle Fultz. This franchise hasn’t made the postseason since the 2011-2012 campaign, but now they finally have high expectations.
However, Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons has a new idea for all of this.
“I’d get rid of it, just get rid of the draft altogether,” Van Gundy said. “We’d just deal with the salary cap. Make all [rookies] free agents coming in, and if I want to go give a guy $50 million a year, good, but I got to do it under the cap.”
This idea may come off as a hot take, however, it makes so much sense. There would be zero desire for teams to tank if you completely wipe out the draft. Now, before you think all the top rookies would go to big markets, you have to remember there will be proven free agents as well. This would create the ultimate parity many have long desired.
Nonetheless, the higher-ups of the NBA don’t truly want parity, according to Van Gundy.
“I think if you did that and you had no individual max on players, we’d start to get some parity in the league, but the league really doesn’t want parity,” he said, per the Detroit Free Press’ Vince Ellis. “They want the superteams, and I get that. It’s worked well, business-wise.”
While it sounds good in theory to have several teams in contention for a title, the NBA has done just fine during this superteam era. Fans and media members may complain, but in reality, we all can’t stop watching for whatever reason. There’s no doubt Van Gundy is onto something here. Unfortunately, this would just never happen. There’s too much money at stake.