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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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Wizards ride huge second half to break through, beat Pistons

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Wizards ride huge second half to break through, beat Pistons

The Washington Wizards beat the Detroit Pistons 122-112 on Friday night. Here's analysis of what went down...

Changes were subtle: Many were surprised when head coach Scott Brooks decided to trot out the usual starting lineup after all the talk about making changes following their blowout loss to the Hornets on Wednesday, but that didn't mean Brooks was going to keep everything the same. He did adjust his rotation, it just took him a few minutes.

Center Marcin Gortat played four minutes in the first quarter before sitting the rest of the first half. Bradley Beal only played seven. After Markieff Morris began the game cold and missed his first three threes, Scott pulled him and got creative with his lineups.

Early in the second quarter we saw Tomas Satoransky, Jodie Meeks, Kelly Oubre, Otto Porter and Mike Scott in a super small-ball set... and it worked. After the Wizards went down by 15 points, that group exploded back by causing turnovers left and right and took the lead. Even Meeks, who has struggled all season, popped off for six points in his first five minutes.

Whether it was those moves or not, the Wizards came out in the third quarter a different team. They outscored the Pistons 45-28 in the frame and shot 16-for-21.

After going scoreless in the first half, John Wall exploded for 10 points in the third quarter and finished with 16 points and 11 assists for the game. Beal had 13 points in the third and Gortat had eight. Beal had 26 points for the game and Gortat had 13 points and nine rebounds.

The big third quarter propelled the Wizards to the win. They snapped a two-game slump and improved to 26-20 on the season.

PODCAST: SHOULD THE WIZARDS MAKE A TRADE OR BENCH A STARTER?

Otto came to play: Brooks ripped into the Wizards following their loss on Wednesday and early on it seemed like most of the players didn't get the message. Porter was a major exception because he came out on fire.

Porter had 11 points, six rebounds and three steals by halftime. He was 3-of-4 from three and was all over the place on both ends of the court.

Porter ended up with 16 points. It was a great sign for the five-year pro, who hadn't reached double figures in six of his previous eight games. If Porter gets going offensively, the Wizards should be in good shape moving forward.

Oubre, too: Oubre gets criticism from time to time about his mistakes on the court, when he gambles on defense or doesn't make the extra pass on offense. But what is never questioned is his effort, so it's no surprise he showed up when Brooks was looking for more energy from his team.

Oubre lit a spark with 11 points in the first half on 4-for-7 from the field in just under 16 minutes. He ended up with a career-high 26 points for the game. He shot 9-for-14 from the field and 5-for-9 from three. He also added five rebounds.

Oubre has been one of the Wizards' most consistent players recently. He has reached double figures in seven straight games and is averaging 16.3 points per game during that stretch.

Oubre has 15 points or more in four straight games, a career-high. This season he has 13 such games compared to seven in his previous two seasons combined. 

If the Wizards continue to struggle in the big picture, Oubre will be knocking on the door to be inserted into the starting lineup. His improvement is also giving the Wizards a lot of options as they approach the trade deadline because if they want to move a starter, he could step right in.

Stocking up: The Wizards beat the Pistons for the third time this season, meaning they took the season series. That could come in handy if the Wizards need a playoff tiebreaker over the Pistons at the end of the season.

Up next: The Wizards are off through the weekend. Their next game is on Monday night at the Dallas Mavericks. Tipoff is at 8:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS

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2018 NBA trade deadline: Hornets are shopping All-Star guard Kemba Walker, report says

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2018 NBA trade deadline: Hornets are shopping All-Star guard Kemba Walker, report says

The Charlotte Hornets are attempting a firesale of sorts with the 2018 NBA trade deadline approaching and have made All-Star point guard Kemba Walker available in talks, according to a report by ESPN.

Walker, 27, is having one of his best seasons with averages of 21.7 points, 5.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He is a prolific scorer and is on a team-friendly contract of $12 million per year through next season.

Though many teams have good point guards these days, there should be a strong market for Walker. Teams like the Sixers, Pistons, Clippers, Knicks and Nuggets would seem to be great fits. 

PODCAST: SHOULD THE WIZARDS MAKE A TRADE OR BENCH A STARTER?

The Pistons stand out in particular. They are currently ninth in the East and their primary point guard Reggie Jackson is hurt. Even when he does play, they need offense and that's what Walker provides.

The Sixers have Markelle Fultz working his way back from a shoulder injury, but have the assets to trade for Walker and could use some help to make a playoff push. The Knicks could use more talent around Kristaps Porzingis and Walker would certainly help.

There are still about three weeks until the Feb. 8 trade deadline and a lot can change before then. But it appears there is another big name readily available on the market.

RELATED: LATEST NBA POWER RANKINGS