NBA Draft Lottery

NBA postpones Draft Lottery, Combine, reschedule dates uncertain

NBA postpones Draft Lottery, Combine, reschedule dates uncertain

In what was a foregone conclusion, the NBA has postponed the Draft Combine and Lottery due to the coronavirus, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday.

Both events were set to be held in Chicago this month (lottery — May 19; combine — May 21-24) prior to the NBA suspending its season in March.

MORE: Bulls’ new GM Marc Eversley gives thoughts on key pieces on roster

If or when the league will resume play remains uncertain, as is the status of the 2020 NBA Draft — scheduled for June 25.

The league said in a release more information on the lottery and combine will be shared at a later date. They will continue monitoring the pandemic and consult with public health officials, experts and government officials.

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NBA commissioner Adam Silver anticipates draft lottery will stay in Chicago 'for a while'

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USA TODAY

NBA commissioner Adam Silver anticipates draft lottery will stay in Chicago 'for a while'

The NBA moved the draft lottery from New York to Chicago in 2018 and it sounds like it will stay here for the foreseeable future.

The league has had the draft combine in Chicago for years. With the lottery taking place on the heels of that, it made sense for the league to hold the lottery in Chicago as well.

Adam Silver explained that in a one-on-one interview with NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson.

“We have been very pleased in Chicago,” Silver said. “Our community comes together in Chicago for our predraft camp and combine. It made perfect sense to also conduct the draft lottery there. And that was something that Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel never stopped reminding me of.”

Silver credited Emanuel for also playing a role in Chicago getting the 2020 All-Star Game as well.

In the case of the lottery, it also made sense logistically with key decision makers already in town for the combine. That reasoning isn’t likely to change any time soon, so Silver expects to see the lottery stay in Chicago.

“We are enjoying being in Chicago,” Silver said. “Because of the geographic location, it’s more convenient for our teams to be in a more central location. And Chicago, for the same reasons that makes it a fantastic All-Star host, has all the accommodations you need for our teams when they come together for our combine. My anticipation is we’ll be in Chicago for a while. And the city has been terrific to work with.”

While the Bulls don’t want to be annual participants in the lottery, it does look like the team’s front office will get to sleep in their own beds ahead of the big event. So far the home city advantage hasn’t done anything for the Bulls, which have moved down to the seventh pick in each of the two years the lottery has been in Chicago.

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NBA scheduling proposals won't fix tanking problem

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USA Today

NBA scheduling proposals won't fix tanking problem

Adam Silver is one of the most forward-thinking commissioners we’ve seen among the major sports leagues in the modern era.

Silver is always willing to consider ways to make the NBA product more competitive and marketable. Last Friday the league floated a plan under consideration with the Players’ Association and media partners to implement significant changes for the league’s 75th anniversary season in 2021-22.

Let’s start with the idea of re-seeding the last four teams standing in the playoffs. The NBA would love to get the past possible finals match-up, so instead of going with the traditional East/West conference finals format, the league would seed the remaining teams one through four based on regular season records and have one play four and two against three with the surviving teams moving on to the finals.

Some would argue this proposal doesn’t go far enough, that the NBA should seed the top 16 teams regardless of conference and go from there. But the league is concerned about the travel issues that could come into play in the early rounds and is advocating the more modest proposal of seeding the Final 4.

The idea to hold an in-season tournament for all 30 teams comes from a format used in European soccer leagues. Basically, the plan is to hold the tournament between Thanksgiving week and Christmas when most of the country’s attention is focused on the NFL and the college football conference championship games.

It’s hard to say whether this will generate a great deal of interest from sports viewers, but it certainly won’t hurt, since the tournament games will count as part of the regular season schedule. And, it gives teams another chance to hold up a trophy and hoist a championship banner.

Speaking of the schedule, the league is also considering reducing the amount of regular season games from 82 to 78 to make room for a playoff play-in for the final two spots in each conference. Under the proposal, the teams that finish with the seventh and eighth seeds in each conference would play one game at the end of the season to be awarded the seventh seed, while the ninth and tenth seeds will play each other for a shot at taking on the loser of the 7-8 game.

The winner of that game would earn the eighth and final seed.

The league is hoping that letting two more teams in each conference have a shot at the playoffs will add excitement in several cities, create more fan interest and reduce the incentive for teams to tank late in the season for better draft lottery odds.

Major League Baseball has had success with the drama and excitement created by the winner take all wild card format, and the NBA could benefit as well, although one could argue since 16 of the 30 teams already qualify for the playoffs, is there really a need to try to get more teams involved?

The bigger flaw comes from the idea that giving four more teams (two in each conference) the chance to experience post-season excitement will reduce tanking.

I think the league should be more aggressive in battling the problem. My proposal would be to take the bottom ten teams at the All-Star break (five in each conference) and have them compete for spots in the draft order. The team among the bottom ten that finishes with the best record after the All-Star break (approximately 25-30 games) gets the number one draft pick, the team with the second-best record gets the second pick and so on.

This would provide incentive for teams to play their regulars for the remainder of the season and have a tangible reward for winning games. Instead of seeing non-playoff contenders embellish injuries and limit minutes of key players to have a better chance at losing, we would see all 30 franchises trying to win games all the way to the final day of the regular season.

And, if one of the bottom ten goes on an incredible late run to the make the playoffs? Fine, let them have the number one pick and the playoff spot.

The league probably wouldn’t go with this proposal because it would penalize teams that suffer significant injuries early in the season and can’t put their best players on the court after the All-Star break. But for all of us who have watched the Bulls play meaningless games over the last two seasons with G-League call-ups in the rotation, the idea of playing for something over the final two months is definitely an improvement.

Plus, eliminating the lottery system that awards the top picks to teams based on blind luck has clearly outlived its usefulness. The new and improved 2019 lottery didn’t work, with the worst teams dropping in the draft order, and the New Orleans Pelicans rewarded with the top pick following an ugly stand-off with franchise star Anthony Davis after the trade deadline that improved their lottery odds.

Adding the play-in chance for the ninth and tenth seeds is a good first step to reduce tanking, but if Silver really wants to fix the system he should let teams earn those precious high draft picks by winning games late in the season.

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