With labor talks between the NBA owners and players slated to resume today, there is one topic besides money that’s on the table: the NBA Draft. And while I’m all for looking to the past for new ideas – this coming from a fan of snapbacks – David Stern has apparently hopped in his time machine and set the dial for June 28, 1988.
What’s so special about that day? Well, that’s the last time the NBA Draft had three rounds. Yes, according to Chris Sheridan, the NBA owners have proposed re-adding a third round to the draft to address the owners’ desire for more competitive balance. As you can imagine, this is a proposal that the players’ union isn’t really a fan of.
According to sources involved in the league’s collective bargaining discussions, the union has proposed various changes to the draft:
- Under one proposal, the 15 teams with the worst records would continue to pick 1st through 15th, but then would also have the 16th through 30th picks. The teams with the top 15 records would have the first 15 picks of the second round, then would have the 44th through 60th picks, too. Under this proposal, the Chicago Bulls (whose 62-20 record was the league’s best last season) would have the 45th and 60th picks instead of the 30th and 60th picks. The Minnesota Timberwolves, who had the NBA’s worst record (17-65), would have their lottery pick and the 16th pick, but would no longer have the first pick of the second round — No. 31 overall.
- Under another proposal, the teams with the eight worst records would get an additional first-round pick, beginning with selection No. 22, and the teams with the eight best records would have no first-round picks but would select at the top of the second round (picks 31 through 38), then also would get the final eight picks of the second round.
Now let me be clear: These proposed changes are a bad idea. And all I need to do is mention David Robinson for you to know what I’m talking about. If your star player gets hurt and your season goes out the window, these new proposals would set your franchise up for dynasty mode. While I’m all for “competitive balance,” this system could potentially make the league inherently unstable from top to bottom. Rather than battling for a playoff spot at the end of the season, the incentive is there to lose those games instead.
But if I had to guess exactly why the NBA is looking to expand the draft, look no further than the D-League. To turn the D-League into the NBA’s true minor league system, they need talent to stock it with and invest in. By adding 30 more players to the pool with NBA aspirations they can begin to do just that.
What do you think?
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