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Mike Zarren revises his draft wheel proposal

Perhaps looking to capitalize on the success of the cover art for Kanye's new album, Assistant GM for the Celtics, Mike Zarren brought a new version of his wheel proposal to the Sloan Conference at MIT. 'Gather round, nerds!' Zarren presumably said, as herds flocked to praise his latest arts and crafts project.

For those who missed it, Zarren's initially proposed that the league addresses 'tanking' by employing a pre-defined path for all thirty teams to use regardless of win-loss record. In other words, teams would follow the same rotation (one year you'd pick 1st, the next 18th, the year after the 30th) until each team has selected in each spot.

On the surface it seems fair, but there was some fundamental issues. ProBasketball Talk elaborates:

Elite prospects could time their entry to the draft for when a desired market would have the top pick, because they’d know years in advance when each team will pick No. 1.

Teams who fared poorly leading into years slated for the bottom of the draft would face hopelessness.

It’d be difficult to alter this system before its 30-year run completed.

For me, the last part was what always stuck. If issues with this arises (or moreover, when people find ways to manipulate it), you'd have to wait for 30 years in order to correct it. To me, that sounds horrifying. Because I know if I had to stand by decisions I thought were awesome at the time, I'd still be rocking a rattail for another decade, and just hitting the halfway point of devoting my life to listening to Limp Bizkit.

Zarren's new proposal is to cut down the duration, and in the process addressing his two major issues by reinstating a little bit more randomness and luck to his proposal. Each year a team would rotate between a specific set of grouping of picks, the exact spot they'd get in would be at random. The list of groupings are as follows and there's also a 10 year option in there, again via Pro Basketball Talk:

Five-year:

1-6
25-30
19-24
13-18
7-12

If the ultimate goal of the league is to cut down on tanking, this accomplishes it. It's 100% fair, and provides enough randomness to at least cut down on the shenanigans. My take? I'm not sold that 'tanking' is as big of an issue as people make it out to be, and I'd much rather a system that helps bad teams get young talent.

I'd much rather keep a system that favors bad teams, and look into maybe setting the draft order a year in advance (ie: The 2016 draft goes by 2014 standings, with a lottery system still in place for randomness). It still helps bad teams, but dilutes the value of losing - for the team, and for fans - by providing less immediacy and more risk.

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Vintage WTHHT: What the Hell Happened To... Tony Delk
authored by Tb727

In this week's series of What the Hell Happened To, we remember an electric guard from Kentucky, who once scored 53 points in an NBA game. He was the inspirational leader for the 1996 Kentucky Wildcats who won the NCAA championship, and a key member on the Celtics' Cinderella bunch from 2002. You probably remember Tony Delk.

He was selected by the Hornets with the 16th overall pick in the talent-laden 1996 draft. After one season and a few games with the Hornets, he was dealt to Golden State for BJ Armstrong. He'd play 2 seasons with the Warriors before signing as a free agent with the Kings in 2000.

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MattDotRich 3/03/2015 09:24:00 AM Edit
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