Time to abolish the draft lottery - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Time to abolish the draft lottery

New York, NY (WOIO) - For the third straight year, and 17th time overall, the Cavaliers are back staring at ping pong balls. Back in the NBA's Draft Lottery, hoping to somehow come away with the first overall pick in the draft for the second time in three years, and third time in ten years. I hope it works out. They certainly scored the first time, back in 2003, with LeBron, and hit big again in 2011 with Kyrie Irving. But objectively, the system stinks. It's time to abolish the lottery, and follow the other leagues' lead. The team with the worst record should have the # 1 pick, and this year, that's the Orlando Magic.

I know, I know, somebody's gonna throw the ol' "tank it" theory at me. The premise that cancelling the lottery, and killing any and all chances of multiple teams having a shot at that first overall pick, will only encourage bad teams to tank it down the stretch, in hopes of guaranteeing themselves the league's worst record. I don't buy it. Not anymore. Not in this day and age of constant player movement, coaching changes, and job insecurity. Are you really going to tell me that a coach on the hot seat, or a player fighting for his job (against the very draft pick that may come in and take it, by the way), is going to quit late in the season, for somebody else's benefit? No chance.

Conspiracy theorists may argue, but I'll never be convinced that you can motivate current players to blow a game for the benefit of future players.

If the Cavaliers once again come away with the # 1 pick in the draft tonight (and they have slightly less than a 16% chance of doing so), I'll be happy for the organization, which is still reeling from the loss of LeBron. And I'll be sad for the Magic, who deserve the pick, and who will have been screwed by a system that just doesn't make sense.


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