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The NBA may adjust their draft lottery system, but they should go further

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The NBA may adjust their draft lottery system, but they should go further

Next week the NBA's competition committee is planning to vote on a new proposal targeting what most would agree is one of the league's biggest problems, the current draft lottery system that encourages tanking. It's a glaring issue that each year some teams actively try to lose and commissioner Adam Silver wants to fix it.

As reported by ESPN, the league is weighing several options, including evening out the odds for the No. 1 pick between the teams with the three worst records. Currently, the worst team in basketball gets a 25 percent chance at the No. 1 pick and that scales down to 15.6 percent for the third-worst team. Another idea is to allow teams to fall four spots from where they are in the standings. For example, the worst team could get the No. 5 pick when right now they can do no worse than fourth. 

Those changes would certainly limit tanking, as there would be no added incentive to become the absolute worst team in the NBA. But it doesn't go far enough, if the league truly wants to discourage losing on purpose.

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Here's an idea: expand the lottery from 14 teams to 18. Give the seventh and eighth seeds in each conference some ping-pong balls, allowing them to every once in a while hit it big with a top pick. Maybe even ensure those teams a top 12 selection.

What if the bottom four playoff teams were not only in the lottery, but had better odds for a top selection than the teams that just missed the playoffs? That would encourage teams to spend money and aim to win now, knowing they don't have to be perennial losers to acquire high value draft picks.

The current system makes it tough for teams without young talent that just barely make the playoffs. In the current system, being the eighth seed means little more than a quick exit in the first round. If the bottom seeds in the playoffs had a good chance to land, say, a top 10 pick then maybe teams like the Bulls and Pacers wouldn't have to so quickly rebuild and trade Jimmy Butler and Paul George.

Here's how the current lottery odds stack up:

25% (worst record in the NBA)
19.9
15.6
11.9
8.8
6.3
4.3
2.8
1.7
1.1
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5 (14th-worst record, last team to miss the playoffs)

Here's an idea of what this expanded lottery system would look like:

13.0 (worst record in the NBA)
12.0
11.0
10.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
4.0
3.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
5 (playoff team with worst record)
5
5
5

Under this hypothetical proposal, the bottom four seeds in the playoffs would be tied for the eighth-best odds for the No. 1 pick . That could encourage teams in the middle of the lottery to aim up rather than down, to make moves to win instead of rebuild.

The NBA clearly wants to get rid of tanking, or at least limit it. The fact they are trying is good to hear, but they can do more to fix the system than they plan to propose.

[RELATED: PODCAST - BUCKHANTZ ON THE OFFSEASON]

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The NBA wants to end the one-and-done rule and the timing is right

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The NBA wants to end the one-and-done rule and the timing is right

The NBA is building momentum towards a significant change in their draft entry rules. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been outspoken about his preference to change the so-called one-and-done rule and on Thursday he met with the newly created Commission on College Basketball in Washington, D.C. to discuss the subject.

The meeting was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who says the league could once again let high school players be drafted. The compromise could be a rule requiring those who go to college to stay for at least two years. That would be similar to Major League Baseball, which stipulates three years of college.

Would a similar rule be a good idea for the NBA? While the players' union would like the option to go straight from high school, there was a reason the one-and-done rule was implemented in the 2006 collective bargaining agreement. The perception back then was that players left for the NBA too early and many flamed out because of it. The thought was that some players would have had better careers if they were older and more experienced when they became professionals.

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Darius Miles, Kwame Brown, Eddy Curry and Sebastian Telfair are notorious cases of draft busts who came out of high school. Many wondered if those guys would have been better off with a year in college to adjust to life on their own and with an intermediary step up in competition.

But there are important differences in the NBA's structure nowadays. Now there is a robust minor league system with G-League affiliates all over the country. There are also two-way contracts, allowing teams to pay more money to a prospect and have more flexibility in bringing them up to the NBA. Players don't have to adjust as quickly as they used to.

The G-League is going to continue to expand and the perception keeps changing. Now, it is more common to see players have a stint in the G-League either for development purposes or injury rehabilitation. Player development of baseball players is different, but the MLB's well-established minor league system is the reason why their rule allowing high school players to go pro really works.

The one year in college under the one-and-done rule, however, does have some positives. Most notably, it allows NBA teams to get a better read on draft prospects. Instead of evaluating guys exclusively in high school and AAU, they get to see them play in the ACC, SEC and other big college conferences.

NBA front offices may be hurt by it, but the time is right to go back to high school players entering the pros. Things are much different than they were in 2006 and the league can handle it. Ending the one-and-done rule would be better for the players and it should also make a lot of college basketball fans happy.

That is the good of what the NBA is considering, however, the rule requiring two years of college should not be part of the equation. If the NBA wants to grant some freedom, then actually do it. Some players may need just one year of college and nothing more. Don't punish them for it.

The two-year requirement seems like a very bad idea, but it could be part of the deal. Either way, it seems like the one-and-done rule could come to an end sooner than later and it's for the best.

[PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL GOES 1-ON-1]

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Miami Heat

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Miami Heat

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Wizards' 91-88 loss to the Miami Heat on Friday night at Capital One Arena...

1. The first half didn't feature many highlights for the Wizards, as they managed just 29 points in what was their worst half of the season so far. This play, though, was nice.

Mike Scott hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the first quarter:

Scott had only four points in nine minutes.

[RELATED: WILL JOHN WALL MISS GAMES WITH HIS INJURY?]

2. The Wizards had a special guest in attendance. Nationals ace Max Scherzer showed up and was nice enough to join Chris Miller on the NBC Sports Washington broadcast.

This particular part of the interview was funny. Scherzer was asked who would be the best basketball player on the Nats and who would play the dirtiest. Scherzer was honest:

3. The Wizards were down by as many as 25 points, but they made it a game in large part due to Bradley Beal catching fire in the second half. He hit three threes in the third quarter, including this one:

Beal finished with a game-high 26 points.

4. John Wall (eight points) didn't hit his first shot until there was just 5:25 left in the fourth quarter. But his first shot was a big one, a timely three that helped key the WIzards' comeback charge:

5. Wall would hit another three soon after that:

The Wizards had a final shot attempt, but Beal's stepback jumper rimmed out. They are 9-6 on the season with the Raptors up next.

[RELATED: WIZARDS STORM BACK, BUT LOSE TO HEAT]