The NBA Draft Lottery is an exciting spectacle, no doubt. However it lacks merit and defeats the concept of positioning worse teams higher in the draft. The fact of the matter remains if the team is the worst in the league, it should have first chance to get the player they want for their team – any player. It’s fun to watch and makes an event of the lottery announcement itself, but it makes the event the central focus, and not the product that eventually will be on the court. The lottery also deters from action subsequently occurring in the league, as it is during the playoffs.
The NFL Draft’s structure may be boring and methodical, but the draft is supposed to be a traditional annual event in which new waves of players are selected for the teams. The hype leading up to the draft is definitely higher – which is maybe why the NBA does it the way they do it. They need to generate buzz, but sometimes getting people talking isn’t the best thing about the event. In a draft’s case, the best thing about it is it leads to improved product on the playing surface as new talent comes into the league.
It seems absolutely ridiculous to me that 14 teams have a shot at the first overall pick and selecting the best player in the draft, especially when one of them is the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team which has two of the league’s best players and made the Western Conference Semifinals as recently as last year. They didn’t even have a horrible year. Sure, they didn’t make the playoffs, but they did have a winning record in the NBA’s more competitive conference. They would have been a No. 6 seed in the East.
The Thunder don’t deserve the first pick. Granted they only had a 0.5% chance of receiving it, but they didn’t play bad enough to deserve the pick. They’re too good. They won 55% of their games this season, while Minnesota, the team who received the pick won only 19.5%. They almost won three times as many games as the worst team, and someone is trying to tell me they should get the first pick? What is the point of a draft when the lottery can completely screw over the parity of teams in the league?
Not to mention if a team that has a 1-in-200 chance to land the pick and does so (not to mention a team which has gained plenty of fans due to its success over the last five years) it raises suspicion and brings the credibility of the NBA into question – even if done within the set parameters. Viewers have no idea what happens behind closed doors when they select the order. All we see are the cards when they present them on the stage. So let’s get rid of the unnecessary nonsense. Use the draft as an opportunity to make revenue and better your league, while bridging the talent gap by giving the worst teams guaranteed first selections.
This article is a part of our ongoing “Opposites Attack” series where we aim to play devil’s advocate on hot topics in the sports and entertainment world while providing a fresh perspective of these subjects.
Image: Orlando Magic Daily