But the Sonics locked down the second pick in the draft, a draft with two phenomenal players. Welcome to the Northwest Mr. Durant. This draft could also lead to an amazing Portland (#1 pick) Seattle rivalry, if Seattle doesn’t leave.

But what I really want to talk about is the way the NBA lottery is set up. The point of the lottery is to keep teams who aren’t going to the playoffs from tanking games. Anyone who watches the league knows this isn’t the case. I’m not saying players lose intentionally, but that teams don’t field there best teams if they can’t make the playoffs.

Dave Berry over at the Wages of Wins did some good analysis showing that this was not the case back when the lottery wasn’t weighted so heavily in favor of the bad teams. But when Orlando got two #1’s in a row, the league changed the weighting system to essentially make it impossible for the better teams to move up (Orlando had barely missed the playoffs in the second year). I’m sure David Stern and most of the league owners are avid readers of Workings for Suckers, so I’ll give them THE solution.

The weighting of the lottery should be changed again, so that all teams in the lottery have a shot at #1. This will give teams who are obviously lottery-bound little solution to throw games. My trick for eliminating the Orlando situation is simple. Instead of all the teams who don’t make the playoffs being in the lottery, you only put in the 9 or 10 worst teams. The better teams will be trying to get that last playoff spot, so they won’t be throwing games, the lottery bound teams won’t improve their situation much by tanking, so they won’t either.

Under my system, the better bad teams won’t get top picks, and minimal teams will have incentive not to put their best team on the court. The only teams left who would tank games are those eliminated from the playoffs but on the cusp of the lottery, and if they did throw games, it would be to have a small shot at a top 3 pick, so that might not happen anyway.

Your welcome Mr. Stern. As payment for my brilliance you can force the Sonics to stay put (unless they want to move to San Diego).

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