Ahead of the start of a brand new season, the NBAto the Draft Lottery system, pushing through a reform that, starting in 2019, will give the three worst teams in the league an equal 14 percent chance at obtaining the No. 1 overall pick.
As it currently stands, the worst team in the league has a 25 percent chance at getting to pick first, while the second-worst team has a 19.9 percent chance, and the third-worst team holds a 15.6 percent chance. The NBA‘s hope, of course, is that this change will help eliminate tanking, though it will take a few seasons to see if that’s actually the case.
“I’d get rid of it, just get rid of the draft altogether,” Van Gundy said when asked lottery reform. “We’d just deal with the salary cap. Make all [rookies] free agents coming in and if I want to go give a guy $50 million a year, good, but I got to do it under the cap.
“I think if you did that and you had no individual max on players, we’d start to get some parity in the league, but the league really doesn’t want parity. They want the super teams, and I get that. It’s worked well, business-wise.”
Van Gundy added that he’s not concerned about the Draft Lottery reform, as the team won’t be tanking under his watch.
“I don’t even worry about that stuff,” Van Gundy said. “We’re not a team that’s ever going to try to maneuver into higher picks anyway so it really doesn’t matter to me. Before we do that, somebody else will be coaching. It’s hard enough for me to lose. I’m not going to try to lose.
While it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon, eliminating the draft would be pretty fascinating. Making all incoming rookies free agents would lead to some very tough and interesting decisions — both for the players and teams.
Would someone like Luka Doncic take as much money as possible and still go to one of the league’s lesser teams as he likely would under the draft? Or would he take less money to try and sign with a playoff team right away? Does a championship contender allocate some of their salary cap to try and get one of the top youngsters even if it might cost them in the short term?
Of course, there’s no way to know unless it happens, but eliminating the draft would be all sorts of fun.