Tha Sports Junkies 101

The NBA Reform was passed with Ease!

Draft Reform


Earlier today, the NBA’s lottery draft reform passed easily with a vote of 28-1-1, per @wojespn. The only teams not voting for reform were Oklahoma City and Dallas, with Dallas abstaining from the vote. The vote needed only 23 teams voting in favor for the proposed draft reform to pass.

The reform is an attempt to dissuade teams from tanking. They will do this by reducing the chance of the team with the worst record from getting the first pick. Effective next draft, the three worst teams will all have the same chance, .14 percent, of landing the top pick. Until today, the worst record had .25 chance percent, second worst .19.9 percent, and third .15.6 percent, per @ESPNStatsInfo.

Along with the new draft reform, there are also new rules about when and how often teams can rest their star players. Under the new agreement, Commissioner Adam Silver will have the ability to fine teams when they bench their uninjured players. This is in regards to nationally televised games and road games. This only required a majority vote to pass.

Why Change Now?

In 2007, the most valuable franchise in the NBA was the New York Knicks, valued at $608 million. Ten years later, they are valued at a staggering $3.3 billion. The Knicks are not the only team this is happening to; the average NBA team today is valued at $1.36 billion.

The NBA has had unprecedented success over the past decade, picking up tons of new fans and viewers. Given today’s vote, it appears as if the NBA owners intend to try to keep all of them. They have heard the fans’ complaints about not wanting to watch their team tank for several years in order to hopefully land a couple of high draft picks who may or may not pan out in the league. They have heard the complaints from fans who travel out of town to see a particular player play, only to show up and see them sit on the bench the whole game.

These types of things could potentially dissuade fans from buying tickets to regular season games and lower TV ratings. Even though the NBA’s bottom line is currently looking pretty good, they want to maximize it by losing as few viewers as possible to these things.

Will Draft Reform Work?

Although it does not seem likely, only time will tell. Teams will absolutely continue to tank during their rebuilding periods until there is a rule explicitly prohibiting it. Especially some smaller market teams who may not have the clout to attract superstars during free agency. Perhaps this will dissuade some teams from being intentionally non-competitive, which is a step in the right direction for both the NBA and its fans.

As far as the player resting rules go, I think this is a good idea. Growing up in Indianapolis, some of my most fond childhood memories are of going to Conseco Fieldhouse to watch the Pacers play. I remember going to Michael Jordan’s final game in Indianapolis when he was with the Wizards, and seeing LeBron and Shaq play together when Cleveland was in town. Seeing special talent like that play in person can be mesmerizing, and can turn casual fans into life-long fans of the game. The league does not want to miss out on these opportunities on the basis of the players being tired.

Hopefully, these new implementations will change the game for the better.

Be sure to follow TSJ NBA News on Twitter at @TSJ_NBA. You can also follow me at @jollett1.