BOSTON (CBS) – Two weeks ago, Grantland.com released a proposal submitted to the NBA that would drastically change the landscape of the NBA Draft.
In place of the current lottery system would be a “wheel system,” where each of the 30 NBA teams would pick in a specific slot once every 30 years. Each team would cycle through the 30 draft slots year-by-year in a predetermined order, saving NBA fans (and general managers) all the drama around a bunch of ping pong balls.
As it turns out, this was all created by Boston Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren. Celtics president Danny Ainge joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Thursday morning, and shed a little more light on Zarren’s proposal, saying it would take away the incentive of losing that the current lottery system brings to the league.
“Mike Zarren, he’s the one that came up with all the algorithms how it would all work. We came up with the concept at lunch, and how we don’t think it’s right to have incentives to lose,” said Ainge. “In so many other sports leagues, other than the NFL, there is no such system where there are incentives to lose. It’s tough on fans, owners, general managers, coaches and players, so we came up with a system.”
Basically, every 30 years a team would receive the first overall pick — no matter where they finish the year before.
“It would be equally dispersed amongst all 30 teams and you would know when you’re drafting,” said Ainge. “Now you make trades and there are protections on the trades, it would simplify all of that. It would simplify the protection of picks; if you wanted to make a trade you would know you’re trading the 2019 pick and it’s the number 14 pick in the draft. So I think it would simplify a lot of things.”
“What it does is puts the onus on the franchise to have good management; to make good decisions and get the draft right,” explained Ainge. “It just seems there are teams that go for decades selling hope for the next year, and I think it puts the pressure on the management and teams to get it right, and not sell hope year after year to the fans.”
Ainge also touched on the Celtics’ recent acquisition of guard Jerryd Bayless for Courtney Lee.
“We’ve like Jerryd, we tried to acquire him in the past. He’s a combo guard who can really shoot the ball, handle the ball, and he’s a strong, quick body that can get over screens defensively,” said Ainge. “The opportunity to get Jerryd and at the same time, [shed the contract of] Courtney who had played well for us. It was a good trade for both teams.”
“We could use a little more ball-handling, and it gives us the flexibility in free agency as we re-tool. Jerryd could very-well be part of our future as well,” added Ainge.