NEW YORK — NBA owners on Thursday approved draft lottery reform and guidelines for the resting of healthy players in the regular season.
The lottery reform is an attempt to disincentivize losing and curtail teams from trying to get a better chance at obtaining a top draft pick.
The three highest lottery seeds will now each have a 14 percent chance of getting the top pick compared to 25 percent for the team with the worst record, 19.9 percent for the team with the second-worst record and 15.6 percent for the team with the third-worst record in the lottery system used since 2005.
“Lottery reform was important because there was a perception in many of our communities that the best path to rebuilding their teams was to race to the bottom,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “I don’t necessarily agree that that’s the optimal strategy to create a great team, but it became currency in this league. So much so that there were situations in many of our team communities where the team felt under pressure to engage in that strategy, even when they didn’t think that was the best strategy to build their team.
“ … To trade away otherwise very serviceable players and embark on a strategy that requires them to, in essence, field poor teams, which they believed would give them the best chance to improve over the long term. I felt it was corrosive to this league.”
According to an ESPN report, the draft lottery reform passed with a 28-1-1 vote, with Oklahoma City voting against and Dallas abstaining. The league needed 23 of 30 teams – a three-quarters majority – to pass the legislation.
The voting was part of a two-day meeting of the NBA board of governors in New York that concluded on Thursday.
The chance for the No. 1 pick after the three highest lottery seeds is as follows:
Team 4: 12.5%
Team 5: 10.5%
Team 6: 9.0%
Team 7: 7.5%
Team 8: 6.0%
Team 9: 4.5%
Team 10: 3.0%
Team 11: 2.0%
Team 12: 1.5%
Team 13: 1.0%
Team 14: 0.5%
“NBA Draft Lottery reform is a meaningful step in our continuous effort to enhance the quality of our games,” NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell said. “These changes were necessary to improve the competitive incentives for our teams.”
The number of picks determined by the lottery will also increase to four from three, meaning the team with the worst record could fall to the fifth pick compared to the fourth pick in the previous lottery system. The team with the second-worst record will pick no lower than…