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NBA approves draft lottery reform to dissuade tanking

By The Sports Xchange
NBA approves draft lottery reform to dissuade tanking
The NBA Board of Governors has voted in favor of lottery reform. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

The NBA Board of Governors approved draft lottery reform on Thursday, reducing the chances of teams tanking to land one of the top three picks.

The motion passed by a 28-1-1 vote. The Oklahoma City Thunder voted against it and the Dallas Mavericks abstained.

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Also passed was an item allowing NBA commissioner Adam Silver to fine teams for sitting healthy players in certain situations, primarily nationally televised games.

In addition, Toronto Raptors minority owner Larry Tanenbaum was elected as new chairman of the Board of Governors on the second and final day of the governors' meetings.

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The lottery reform is aimed at limiting the practice of teams not pushing to win games in hopes of having better odds to land high picks in the lottery.

The approved reform, which easily surpassed the required three-quarters majority, will have the teams with the three worst records each having a 14 percent chance at landing the No. 1 overall pick.

In the current system, the team with the worst record has a 25 percent chance, followed by 19.9 for the second-worst record and 15.6 for the third.

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A fourth team will be part of the lottery draw and that team will have a 12.5 percent chance at landing the top pick.

The team with the worst record can pick no lower than fifth.

"NBA Draft Lottery reform is a meaningful step in our continuous effort to enhance the quality of our games," Byron Spruell, NBA president of league operations, said in a statement. "These changes were necessary to improve the competitive incentives for our teams."

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The player rest proposal prohibits healthy players from being rested for any high-profile nationally televised game. A violation of the policy will be viewed as conduct detrimental to the NBA and result in a fine of at least $100,000.

Teams such as the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs rested star players for national telecasts on ABC, ESPN or TNT last season, helping lead to Thursday's action.

The new policy also states that a team should not rest multiple healthy players in the same game or rest healthy players when competing on the road.

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Tanenbaum is the first Canadian to be named the chairman of the NBA Board of Governors. He will succeed Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor.

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Tanenbaum is chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and has been with a governor with the Raptors since 1998. He also holds similar titles with the NFL Toronto Maple Leafs and Major League Soccer's Toronto FC.

"It is a great honor to have been elected as Chairman of the NBA Board of Governors, for both myself and the Toronto Raptors franchise," Tanenbaum said in a statement. "I look forward to working closely with Commissioner Silver, the league office and my fellow owners in this capacity to grow the game around the world and continually look for opportunities to better this great league for our teams, our players and our fans."

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