‘One-and-Done’ Rule Open for Change, Should Adam Silver Wait Any Longer?
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 22: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks during the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 22, 2017 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is looking to shake up the Draft Lottery. Will it be better or worse for the Association?

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been questioned lately as to whether or not he will take action on the age eligibility regarding the NBA Draft. Currently, an athlete has to turn 19 in the draft’s calendar year to be draft eligible. Silver thought about it and has come up with a plan — but not about age.

Silver has come out with a new Lottery System plan, which gives all lottery teams an equal chance to land the top pick in the NBA draft. 

The current NBA Draft Lottery gives the worst teams the better odds to land higher lottery picks. The percentage breakdown of the current lottery system is worst record team (25%), the second worst team (19.9%) followed by the third worst, etc. 

If this new Draft Lottery System becomes active, the three lottery teams will all have an equal chance of landing the top pick in that year’s draft. It makes the league draft lottery a tad more exciting than it already is and will be a step in eliminating tanking.

The NBA draft lottery is already exciting, but the new plan will make it more exciting. The current draft system gives the selective team better odds than other teams to land the top picks in the draft.

The worst team has the best odds and so on. Instead of teams having better chances of landing and becoming confident they can land the first pick; Silver is going to make all the lottery teams have the same odds.

This puts all the lottery teams on the edge of their seat, and when the lottery time comes, anything can happen. The lottery will have more viewers and the teams fans will be all focused to see what happens to their teams.

Besides the added excitement, the most significant impact this will have on the league is that this will discourage teams to tank their seasons and teams will perform better.

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The new draft lottery system not only makes the lottery more exciting but it’s a step toward eliminating “team tanking.” Some NBA teams in the past couple of years have bet on tanking to prepare for the future. 

The 2002-2003 Cleveland Cavaliers were known as a team that purposely tanked their season to get a high draft pick in the “loaded” 2003 NBA Draft which today is arguably the best draft class ever. The Cavs owner at the time admitted later that the team purposely traded away pieces that season to not only doom them for a losing record so they could draft LeBron James.

The Golden State Warriors tanked their 2011-2012 season to keep their draft picks. The Warriors ended up trading star guard Monte Ellis and then shut down stars Steph Curry and David Lee. The Warriors played rookies and inexperienced players for the rest of the season and due to their poor record were able to hold onto their lottery pick and draft star power forward Harrison Barnes.

NBA teams should not have a mindset of tanking a season or multiple seasons in a row just to plan out their future. Tanking not only makes the team not enjoyable to watch but it takes away from the fans who watch the NBA. No fan wants to see a team lose on purpose even if it’s the smart thing to do. 

The NBA team should give it their all during the season even if they know they will not have a chance at winning. If the team knows they aren’t going to win play for pride and even if they do become one of the worst teams in the NBA, they will end up with a lottery or high first round pick and make most of their fans happy.

Not only The 76ers can be considered a team which possibly took the tanking position the past couple of seasons to build a team with the first-round draft picks year after year, but since they did not have much talent over these past seasons, it is not clear if their minds were set on tanking. 

The Philadelphia 76ers have had a lot of lottery picks over the past several seasons and have tanked those seasons. The 76ers are only a year or two away from becoming a serious threat in the Eastern Conference, and they have a lot of young talent taken with those lottery picks. With selections like Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, who are all still on the 76ers and are the playmakers on that team, they have built their franchise around lottery picks.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are arguably the best team in the past decade to build primarily through the NBA Draft. The Thunder drafted Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook, who are arguably all top 10 players currently in the NBA. Only Westbrook remains on the Thunder roster.

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The Philadelphia 76ers have had a lot of lottery picks over the past several seasons and have tanked those seasons. The 76ers are only a year or two away from becoming a serious threat in the Eastern Conference, and they have a lot of young talent taken with those lottery picks. With selections like Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, who are all still on the 76ers and are the playmakers on that team, they have built their franchise around lottery picks.

Adam Silver has shown interest in putting this into effect, but is it a controversial change?

In recent drafts, we have seen players taken with lottery selections that have eventually become wastes and busts such as Greg Oden, Kwame Brown and Darko Milicic. We have also seen players taken later in the first round and even second round who have proven themselves to be more valuable than lottery selections.

Teams can find excellent talent across the board in the mid-to-late first round. Yes, it is rare to pull away with a franchise player but teams in recent years have done so. The Milwaukee Bucks snagged Giannis Antetokounmpo with a 15th overall pick, Steph Curry was a 7th overall pick, and Kawhi Leonard was selected 15th overall. All of these players are the faces of their current teams and have become top NBA talents.

Silver has been talking about changing up the NBA draft rules and regulations for months now. He should put this plan into effect because not only does it somewhat eliminate tanking, it brings excitement to the draft lottery.

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Chris Milholen

Chris “Cruise” Milholen grew up and still lives in Bergen County, NJ. He is a huge fan of the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Yankees. Chris is currently a student at Montclair State University (Class of 2020) studying Television and Digital Media with a concentration in Sports Media and Journalism and minoring in Sociology. Chris is a Brooklyn Nets Contributor Writer and an NBA National Writer for Elite Sports NY.