Earlier this week during committee meetings in Las Vegas, the NBA submitted an official proposal to reform the Draft Lottery system. This new proposal has made the NBA set aside a previous proposal to use a lottery wheel (actually suggested by the Celtics assistant GM) that would be weighted slightly more in favor of the teams who had a worse record.
Under the current structure of the lottery, the team who finishes with the worst record in the league has a 25% chance at landing the first pick in the draft, the second worst team has a 19.9% chance, and the third worse team has a 15.6% chance. The chance for each team after that gets lower and lower. The last five teams in the lottery, who have the five best records of the lottery, each have a 1.1% chance or less, with the team with the best record having just a .5% chance.
This proposed change offers the teams with the four worst records an equal 11% chance at landing the number one pick, and it gives the fifth worst team a 10% chance. The new proposal also gives the teams with the best records a better chance at getting the number one pick, giving the team with the best record a 2% chance. On top of the change in the probability of pick order, the proposal also would change the lottery from being a drawing for the first three picks into a drawing for the first six picks.
The goal of this proposed reform is to stop teams from tanking to get the number one overall pick in the draft. By eliminating a straight up advantage by having a worse record, teams will have less of an incentive to lose more games toward the end of the regular season.
What does this proposal potentially mean to teams around the league and especially the Celtics?
This summer and next summer are supposed to be one of the biggest in terms of free agency and trading. With a new lottery system, teams may choose to trade their draft picks differently or more carefully.
The Celtics have a surplus of picks in the next three seasons and if this new system for the lottery were to be implemented for this coming year, it would impact the way that they would trade picks next summer and also how they will be able to use their picks in the upcoming drafts.