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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Knicks Morning News (2017.04.10)

  • [ESPN] Markelle Fultz: It would be ‘amazing’ to play for Knicks
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 6:50:07 PM)

    Markelle Fultz: It would be ‘amazing’ to play for Knicks

  • [NY Newsday] Markelle Fultz watches Knicks lose to Raptors
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 7:24:00 PM)

    The Knicks had an interested onlooker sitting courtside at the Garden for their next-to-last game Sunday, one they wouldn’t mind having on their team next season.

  • [NY Newsday] Stephon Marbury preaches patience with Phil Jackson’s system
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 6:20:55 PM)

    Stephon Marbury believes the Knicks are in “a great space” with Phil Jackson running the team, and he’s a fan of the triangle offense. But the former Knicks point guard said you have to be able to mix the system with Carmelo Anthony’s strengths.

  • [NYTimes] 10 Things to Know About Russell Westbrook’s Triple-Double Record
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 11:59:44 PM)

    Thirteen of Westbrook’s triple-doubles this season have come by the fourth quarter, and he has accomplished the feat against 27 of 29 opponents.

  • [NYTimes] Raptors 110, Knicks 97: Hope for Knicks’ Future, and a Reminder of a Messy Past, Bear Witness to a Loss
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 11:48:49 PM)

    Markelle Fultz, the projected No. 1 pick in the N.B.A. draft, and Stephon Marbury, a former star during some of the team’s toughest times, watched as the Knicks fell to the Raptors.

  • [NYTimes] Damian Lillard Breaks a Trail Blazers Record With 59 Points
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 11:45:53 PM)

    The Portland point guard said after the game that he thought he could do even better.

  • [NYPost] Knicks just saw their juicy lottery dream — and a cautionary tale
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 3:02:08 PM)

    The most important point guard at the Garden on Sunday wasn’t even on the court. It wasn’t rookie Ron Baker, who started at point guard and kept the Knicks close for three quarters during a 110-97 matinee loss to the Raptors. The undrafted Baker nearly put up a triple-double (11 points, eight assists, eight rebounds). It…

  • [NYPost] Likely No. 1 pick teases Knicks: Playing here would be ‘amazing’
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 1:23:59 PM)

    Markelle Fultz can see himself in blue and orange. The projected No. 1 pick in June’s NBA draft can envision playing at the Garden 41 times a year — if not more — sharing the floor with Kristaps Porzingis and making New York home. “It would be amazing,” the University of Washington standout said, after…

  • [NYPost] Knicks’ young guns come apart late again
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 10:34:12 AM)

    The young Knicks have their starts down. Now they have to figure out how to finish. For the second straight game, they hung with a playoff team, only to get blown away in the fourth quarter. Friday night in Memphis, the Knicks were outscored by 15 points in the final quarter, and the Raptors manhandled…

  • [NYPost] A changed Stephon Marbury returns with Phil Jackson belief
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 10:19:14 AM)

    With the Knicks still looking for a point guard, Stephon Marbury was back at the Garden on Sunday with his 12-year-old son, preaching the merits of the triangle and lauding the presence of Phil Jackson. Marbury said he will play one more season in China before retiring, then plans to land a coaching job out…

  • [SNY Knicks] Washington’s Fultz high on possibility of joining Knicks in draft
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 6:40:25 PM)

    University of Washington guard Markelle Fultz said it would be “amazing” if the New York Knicks were to draft him in June.

  • [SNY Knicks] Late effort lifts Raptors over Knicks, 110-97
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 2:53:51 PM)

    NEW YORK (AP) DeMar DeRozan scored 35 points and the Toronto Raptors wrapped up at least the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 110-97 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday.

  • [SNY Knicks] Knicks hope to play role of spoilers vs. Raptors
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 11:33:57 AM)

    Lowry and the Raptors play their penultimate game of the regular season Sunday afternoon when they visit the New York Knicks and attempt to clinch the third seed in the Eastern Conference.

  • [NYDN] Markelle Fultz: ‘It would be amazing’ to be drafted by the Knicks
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 8:21:35 PM)

    Markelle Fultz, the projected first overall pick, showed up at the Garden on Sunday so he could witness the Knicks and their triangle.

  • [NYDN] Knicks keep it close until 4th quarter in 110-97 loss to Raptors
    (Sunday, April 09, 2017 12:16:07 PM)

    The Toronto Raptors know they are headed for another wake-up call, no matter how much they would like to sleep in.

  • 105 comments on “Knicks Morning News (2017.04.10)

    1. Frank

      The Knicks are going to finish in a 3-way tie with the Kings and Wolves and with their luck lose the coin flips and finish 8th aren’t they.

      I think the Suns will out-tank the Kings tomorrow night, but yeah — this is so annoying. Freaking D’Angelo Russell = the Lakers’ version of THJ in 2015.

      That Suns Kings game is going to be hilarious. Probably will just have dudes sitting down on the court (which is what we should be doing against the Sixers wednesday).

      The last game of the season will be pretty weird since some of the teams may rest guys — for example the Wolves play Houston who has nothing at all to play for – have to figure Harden and co. might be resting.

    2. Brian Cronin

      I personally don’t mind tanking (I think, all things considered, it’s the best available option to create some semblance of parity), but this season, wow, teams are getting so good at it that I wonder if the league might finally have to make a move. Teams are just mastering the tank in a way I’ve never seen before.

    3. GoldClub

      I think the right solution would be to do a pure lottery for all lottery teams (not just the top 3). Teams 14-10 get 1 ping pong ball, team 9 gets 2…team with worst record gets 10. I think this seriously takes away the inscentive to tank.

    4. Ingmarrr

      I wonder if the league might finally have to make a move.

      Not to be a contrarian but tanking is actually the only attraction left at this stage. It’s a real race and it requires strategy and determination. The Art of Losing, by Sun Tzu Not.

    5. GoldClub

      The odds for the top pick would be as below. There already is enough of an incentive to make the playoffs that teams wont try to tank out of the playoffs (the $’s of making are too much). And the incremental benefit of moving up a spot is much more limited.

      Record PP Balls P(top)
      1 10 16.9%
      2 9 15.3%
      3 8 13.6%
      4 7 11.9%
      5 6 10.2%
      6 5 8.5%
      7 4 6.8%
      8 3 5.1%
      9 2 3.4%
      10 1 1.7%
      11 1 1.7%
      12 1 1.7%
      13 1 1.7%
      14 1 1.7%
      59

    6. thenoblefacehumper

      The problem with simply making the lottery chances more equitable is I don’t think it addresses the main reason teams tank. To be sure, everyone hopes for a top-3 pick. But I think the main motivation is actually to just secure the best position in the likely event that you don’t have lottery luck. I for one have barely even thought about a top-3 pick while hoping the Knicks lose this year.

      I think to actually address it the league would have to implement pretty radical reforms. As long as losing is correlated with a higher draft pick at all, I don’t see the situation changing much.

    7. Philmelo

      What do people think about Fultz here? Too much of a hero baller for the system Phil wants to implement or what?

    8. lavor postell

      Fultz is the lead guard you’d draw up in a lab for this offense. He can score in every which way, has good vision and is big for his position to the point he can likely defend both guard spots.

      For the amount of sucking the Wolves have endured and the lottery picks they’ve had their lack of talent overall is startling. The Lavine injury doesn’t even explain very much since that hot streak they had after his absence has dissipated greatly. Having Towns is awesome and Wiggins too to a much lesser extent, but after that there’s not as much there as you’d think unless you’re big on Dunn, which I never was and am less of now after seeing virtually no progression in his offensive game throughout the season. Also not sure Thibs has done anything this season that Sam Mitchell couldn’t have done and gotten ripped apart for.

    9. Frank

      The problem with simply making the lottery chances more equitable is I don’t think it addresses the main reason teams tank. To be sure, everyone hopes for a top-3 pick. But I think the main motivation is actually to just secure the best position in the likely event that you don’t have lottery luck. I for one have barely even thought about a top-3 pick while hoping the Knicks lose this year.
      I think to actually address it the league would have to implement pretty radical reforms. As long as losing is correlated with a higher draft pick at all, I don’t see the situation changing much.

      I’ll continue to plug my solution for as long as Mike lets me without banning me =).

      Teams tank because at a certain point in the season, it’s the only thing left they can control that might benefit them in the future. The only way to remove the incentive to lose is to literally remove the incentive to lose. Even making the lottery balls more equitable doesn’t help you, precisely because of what noblefacehumper wrote — you still win by losing.

      My solution again – you give ping pong balls for WINNING, not for LOSING after a certain point in the season (ie. after each team has played “x” number of games played). You don’t decide the “x” until AFTER the season, at which point you decide it randomly. In order to make it so the truly bad teams don’t miss out on a reasonably good pick, you just limit the range of “x” to, say 60-82 games played, or even 65-82.

      So for example:

      The Lakers are anti-tanking now, which infuriates their fans (and entertains the rest of us), but what they (and the Nets) are doing should be commended, not ridiculed. Under my system, they would probably, but not definitely be rewarded for their wins to close the season, as opposed to the Magic/Suns/Knicks/Wolves/Kings who are uber-tanking and disrespecting the game in the process.

      So the system is:

      1 point for every loss up until “x” number of games are reached
      1 point for every win from “x” until the end of the season.

      So let’s say “x” was randomly chosen AFTER the season to be 70, and just for example:

      The Lakers were 22-48 after 70 games = 48 points.
      Let’s say they go 6-6 the rest of the way = 6 more points
      They get a total of 54 points.

      The Suns were 22-48 after 70 games = 48 points
      Let’s say they go 2-10 the rest of the way = 2 more points.
      They get a total of 50 points, so the Lakers would get a better position.

      The purpose of making “x” random (within a certain range) is to make it so it’s much harder to game the system by turning a switch on and off. It could easily be 60 or it could be 82, so no one knows when winning is better for you or losing is better for you. So you win, because that’s the point of competition.

      You have to incentivize WINNING. You can’t incentivize losing.

      So – I mean this seriously. Can anyone tell me why this wouldn’t be a good solution? I emailed Jared Dubin about it and all he said is that it’s unrealistic. Why would it be unrealistic, or any more so than this ridiculous lottery system or the “wheel” that Zach Lowe wrote about?

    10. GoldClub

      The problem with simply making the lottery chances more equitable is I don’t think it addresses the main reason teams tank. To be sure, everyone hopes for a top-3 pick. But I think the main motivation is actually to just secure the best position in the likely event that you don’t have lottery luck. I for one have barely even thought about a top-3 pick while hoping the Knicks lose this year.

      Since the solution I proposed makes 100% of the picks allocated by lottery all the way down to pick 14 it greatly reduces this.

      For example you are sitting with the 12th worst record — you move up 3 spots in the standings to 9 — you get 1 more ping pong ball = 1.7% improvement in expected draft slot (about a quarter of a slot). Currently you would move up 3.0 slots and increase your odds of a top 3 pick by 3.6%. Now, lets say you move up from 7 to 4. You would receive 3 more ping pong balls = 5.4% improvement (0.75 slots). Currently you move up 3.0 slots and your probability of a top 3 pick goes up by 20%. These are huge differences and I think would fix the problem.

    11. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      A loss of draft picks for intentionality not trying to win with your best available players would end tanking.

    12. lavor postell

      It needs to be a monetary incentive. The share of the revenue split from the national TV deals should be based on finishing position, so the team with the worst record gets the smallest slice of the pie, and the Warriors….err team with the best record gets the biggest. Additionally non-playoff teams shouldn’t get any money from playoff generated revenue.

    13. Z-man

      Frank, your idea. while clever, is unlikely to ever be implemented. For one thing, it loses sight of the purpose of the draft order, which is to create parity. there is often a huge difference between the 14th team and the 1st team in the lottery, and a system that rewards the 14th team almost ensures that the bottom feeders won’t get better unless they get lucky in the draft. If you’re going to incentivize winning, might as well go all the way and implement the “wheel” system, which I like.

      I would prefer the following changes:
      1. implement the wheel system.
      2. Eliminate the trading of first round draft picks altogether. The rule can be simple: draft picks cannot be traded, and teams can only trade a player drafted in the first round a year after the player is drafted. This would keep teams from winding up in the situation like the Nets (now) and Knicks (Isiah’s Reign of Error). The League has an incentive to prevent teams from grossly mismanaging themselves to the point where they have no way to achieve the parity that benefits the entire league.

      If I were Commisioner, I would also look into ways to make bottom-feeding teams better through increased player movement.
      1. bring back the amnesty provision, but only for teams that miss the playoffs (or miss it in consecutive years)
      2. Teams can only “protect” 10 players a year from waivers. At the end of the playoffs, Each team can decide to keep no more than 10 players. All other players are subject to something like an “expansion draft, in order of record. So whatever the bottom dwellers lose via the “wheel” system, they gain by being able to sign good players (Melo?) that teams choose to leave unprotected.

      Half-baked ideas, I know, but the larger point is that draft policy is part of the big picture of creating the most compelling, marketable product possible, across teams and time. Competitive balance is a part of that. Lottery, tanking, etc. are incidental.

    14. Frank

      Frank, your idea. while clever, is unlikely to ever be implemented. For one thing, it loses sight of the purpose of the draft order, which is to create parity. there is often a huge difference between the 14th team and the 1st team in the lottery, and a system that rewards the 14th team almost ensures that the bottom feeders won’t get better unless they get lucky in the draft.

      I agree up to a point — but a few thoughts on that.

      Once you eliminate tanking as an effective strategy, I think it’s possible that overall parity increases by itself. Except for very rare situations like the Nets, in which a team completely and almost literally blew up its future for its present, in most cases teams would win at least 25-30 games/season if Hinkie-style tanking went away.

      Second, if you have a truly terrible team, say a team that went 15-67 despite trying as hard as they could, it’s likely that they would accumulate enough points in the “loss=points” period of the year to ensure that they don’t fall back too far. You could theoretically tweak the “point” values in order to create a system that favors really bad teams also (ie. 1.1 points per loss prior to point x, and 0.9 points for each win after point x).

      I like lavor’s idea re: the playoff revenue so there is some benefit for the 7th/8th seeds who in the current system really should be blowing up their teams and tanking.

    15. Frank

      I don’t really like the Wheel because the point of the draft is, in a way, to increase parity. can you imagine if by chance the Warriors were in line for a top 3 pick this year?

    16. lavor postell

      @Frank

      Agreed on the wheel. I also don’t like that it takes 30 years to cycle through for every team from when it’s instituted. Just too long and restrictive.

      @Z-Man

      You have to allow teams to trade first round picks. Banning the practice would hurt playoff teams and contenders looking to bolster their rotations and depth and also hurt lottery teams looking to collect assets to kickstart a rebuild. I don’t see the point of preventing TOR from trading for Ibaka. That would just hurt both them and ORL.

    17. MSA

      Parity should be based on competence.

      You just can’t accept that we are rewarding incompetence with a top pick.

      Make the tanking teams owners suffer on their pockets. Losing money is the only way to make tanking stop.

    18. Frank

      As a small bit of evidence re: parity getting worse since tanking became so obviously the road to getting better — in the last decade, 17% of NBA teams have won fewer than 25 games in a season (51 seasons out of a possible 300 season). From 1976-1985 (the Ewing draft), only 6.2% of teams won fewer than 25 games in a season (15 out of a possible 240).

      The cap was supposed to improve parity by decreasing the ability for big markets to make super teams. But that was just a drop in the bucket compared to the influence of tanking.

    19. MSA

      A “second division” where the worst teams can be relegated like mostly all sports leagues around the world should work too.

    20. Nick C.

      A loss of draft picks for intentionality not trying to win with your best available players would end tanking.

      Then we could play the Rose and Melo and no one would know they were the leading tank commanders because the ruff rydah crowd would think we were trying to win by playin our best ballas. That would have been a great advantage.

    21. TheOakmanCometh

      Parity should be based on competence.

      You just can’t accept that we are rewarding incompetence with a top pick.

      The problem with this philosophy is that it’s the fans who suffer from incompetent ownership. Taking away their high pick punishes them double. We know that better than anyone.

      If you alienate the fans of a poorly run franchise by never giving them hope for decades, they’ll lose interest in the league. That’s a worst-case scenario for the league. Better to occasionally reward incompetence by giving high picks to stupid owners than drive away a whole fan base.

    22. Donnie Walsh

      All I know is that I ended up at A Lakers vs Kings game this week and it was like watching two division 2 college teams play. At the end, the Kings were down by 1 point with the ball. To be extra-sure that the ball didnt accidentally bounce in, coach drew up a play where they just inbounded it straight to the Lakers.

      I have no problem with teams tanking. It’s the smart thing to do. But they shouldn’t be allowed to charge full price for that product. Ticketd should have been $20.

    23. MSA

      The problem with this philosophy is that it’s the fans who suffer from incompetent ownership. Taking away their high pick punishes them double. We know that better than anyone.

      If you alienate the fans of a poorly run franchise by never giving them hope for decades, they’ll lose interest in the league. That’s a worst-case scenario for the league. Better to occasionally reward incompetence by giving high picks to stupid owners than drive away a whole fan base.

      NBA is business like any other. If you are allowing incompetent companies survive without effort, what is the incentive to be good? It’s like communism on steroids.

      I doubt that Isaiah Thomas would had such a long leash if he had been losing Dolan’s money every year for example.

      And we are Knicks fans. Almost two decades of sucktitude and we still didn’t lose interest on the team.

    24. swiftandabundant

      I don’t think it would be that hard to fix tanking. Just go back to the old percentages where all non playoff teams had a higher shot of getting the number one pick. Or make it really even between all teams that don’t make the playoffs. Maybe weight it slightly to favor the worst teams but put some limits on it so that a team that gets the number one pick one year can’t get a top 3 pick the year after and you can’t have say a top 5 pick 3 years in a row. Some simple tweaks would fix it. If a team that was average knew that it could continue to be average and not really hurt their shot at a top pick, then they would compete through the end of the season. If a shitty team that had a top pick the year before knew they weren’t going to get at op 3 pick the next year, then they wouldn’t purposefully tank.

    25. Z-man

      My points were not intended to be directed against any pov. They were more about increasing the overall value of the NBA product. Football is by far the most popular sport, and it is parity that has to a large extent made it so. Team can go from basement to contender in very short order because of the hard cap, non-guaranteed contract, franchise tag, etc. Of course, football is different in so many ways…fewer games. 4-5X as many players per team, etc. but parity has definitely kept interest higher by churning playoff teams (except for the f’n Pats.)

      If I were Adam Silver, I couldn’t care less about penalizing tanking teams or rewarding competent management beyond whether it increases the popularity of the sport overall and therefore increases revenue for the league. For example, if Toronto improves its chances of contending in the short term but also increases the chances that it will be terrible for a half decade a short way down the road, then allowing them to trade their #1 picks away is bad for business. You also have to weigh how for every Toronto, there’s a Brooklyn. And stockpiling picks by trading away assets doesn’t always lead to improvement. Look at Minny, who has been in tank mode since they traded Garnett.

      The way things are set up now, not only does it encourage tanking, but it lessens the likelihood that tanking will actually lead to improvement. It has been pretty rare since the lottery has been instituted that the best player in the draft, or even a true franchise-changing player has gone to the worst team. Sometimes, due to trades, a perennial contender team winds up with the best chance for one of one of those picks (e.g. Tim Duncan). Ot that the worst team gets the best player and still sucks (Anthony Davis.)

      What I mean is that policy around draft order, trades, free agency, guaranteed contracts, etc. should ultimately be made solely on the basis of what increases the overall value of the league.

    26. bockadoo

      D’Angelo Russell gets my vote for most annoying player in the league, based on both attitude and style of play.

    27. TheOakmanCometh

      Frank, your idea is interesting. The objectionable thing about tanking is that it encourages teams to be non-competitive and forces (smart) fans to have to root against their team, which is antithetical to the long-term interests of the league. Your idea encourages teams to play hard all season and fans to root for their team all season.

      The two primary drawbacks are:

      1) Teams could game the system by doing a Hinkie-style tank from Day 1. They could sit key players with dubious injuries until Game 65, then suddenly everyone gets healthy and they start winning.

      2) Teams that are genuinely awful would not be able to go on a late-season push and improve their draft stock. While the Nets have been good late this season, that’s a coincidental function of Lin coming back. Most terrible teams start terrible and finish terrible. And since no one would be tanking under the new system, the bad teams wouldn’t be able to pick off wins from tanking opponents.

      Your solution is intriguing though.

    28. Hugo Busto

      Taj Gibson appears to be in a contract year. His defensive rebounds are way down since he joined OKC (14.6% from 19.1%). Affects some of his advanced stats as well, his stretch in OKC is the first time ever in his career he has a negative DBPM for example.

      if i’m him i’m pretty pissed about russ statpadding, might cost him literally millions of $$

    29. stratomatic

      At some point everyone has to realize that people are smart and will “game” any system that tries to accomplish too many goals. The solution can’t have everything.

      What is the more important goal?

      1. Eliminating tanking
      2. Trying to create better league balance with a lottery draft.

      To begin with, a better lottery system does not require incentives for winning. Given no ranked lottery at all, the natural course of events is trying to win.

      What has to be removed is the incentive to lose.

      I think the best solution is the simplest one.

      If you don’t make the playoffs you are put into a truly random lottery where everyone has the same chance of securing #1 or #14. That doesn’t capture the goal of league balance as well as the lottery, but it does help because it’s still only non playoff teams getting into the lottery. It totally eliminates tanking.

    30. Owen

      But how about that game winner from Russ, eh? My lord, what a line and what a shot.

      Russ is my MVP. Not even going to look at the numbers.

    31. Brian Cronin

      So perhaps rather than using the win totals at the end of the season to determine the lottery ranking, we could use a point in the season where many more teams still have a shot at making the playoffs and their relative ranks are still strongly correlated to their ability. That number could be debated, but maybe 50-60th game.

      Someone, I think Mike, made this suggestion, and like it a lot. If you lock in the lottery positions 45 games in, then teams can still bust their ass to try to make the playoffs after that. It would make for a more entertaining end of the season.

    32. lavor postell

      I think Kawhi should really be the MVP because he handles a massive offensive load while being an elite defender and getting the Spurs to 60+ wins, again. Since, it’s really down to Russ and Harden I’d go with Russ at this stage, because his clutch performance has been insane and directly swung the outcomes of games even though I think Harden’s a better player and easier/more fun to play with and build around.

    33. Z-man

      But wouldn’t that just shift tanking to midseason rather than end of season? And wouldn’t it result in the worst team on paper not ever having a chance for a top pick? That would defeat the entire purpose of the inverse draft order.

    34. stratomatic

      @34

      Brian,

      I think it’s a reasonable idea. I put it in my note, them I vaguely remembered someone else saying it so I deleted the entire section.

      IMO, part of the problem is that people are looking for some kind of perfect solution when one probably doesn’t actually exist. This situation reminds me a little of activist government. Some people see a problem, feel compelled to try to fix it, but their fixes invariably create new problems they may or may not have foreseen. Then they implement another set of fixes to solve the new problems. And on and on they go with greater and greater complexity until what they have is such a mess it should probably be blown up.

      IMO, they should figure out what the priority is (imo is should be eliminating tanking), solve that, and realize the lottery won’t be perfect in all ways. As long as the rules eliminate tanking while still somewhat encouraging balance, they will be fine.

    35. Frank

      @34 – that’s sort of like my idea, so of course I like it! but it still doesn’t actually incentivize winning at the end of the year. it just makes losing less important. it’s a start though.

      @30 Oakman – the problem with Hinkie-style tanking in my system is that you don’t know when losses actually becomes a liability. So you can’t just flip the switch, because you don’t know where and when the switch actually happens.

    36. Frank

      Chad Ford brought up another possibility a couple years back, which is that you use a 3 or 4 year average record as your draft position, as opposed to a single year. That way intentional tanking becomes much harder to do unless you’re really going to blow up 4 years in a row.

      that does, of course, just reward incompetence also.

    37. stratomatic

      Chad Ford brought up another possibility a couple years back, which is that you use a 3 or 4 year average record as your draft position, as opposed to a single year.

      There are going to be problems with that also because teams can dramatically reverse their relative ability over the course of a season or two.

      There is no perfect solution.

      The biggest road block to fixing the mess we have now is that people compelled to try to create a perfect solution instead of a merely sensible one.

    38. Donnie Walsh

      What about tiers, where <25 wins is the bottom tier, and every team in it gets the same chance at #1. Then <30 is tier two; <35 tier three, etc… You may get a team here and there losing a game to sneak down a tier, but it deters the "extended tank" to a greater degree than the current lottery system seems to.

    39. Donnie Walsh

      *Or, better, I guess, would be:

      0-30 wins
      30-40 wins
      40-50 wins
      50-82 wins

      Or something to that effect

    40. GoldClub

      Seriously, this fixes the problem. Do a full lottery for all slots 1-14 with ping pong balls allocated as below. Think about if you are sitting in any draft position, there is limited incentive to tank but the system remains progressive.

      Record PPBalls P(top)
      1 10 16.9%
      2 9 15.3%
      3 8 13.6%
      4 7 11.9%
      5 6 10.2%
      6 5 8.5%
      7 4 6.8%
      8 3 5.1%
      9 2 3.4%
      10 1 1.7%
      11 1 1.7%
      12 1 1.7%
      13 1 1.7%
      14 1 1.7%

    41. Brian Cronin

      But wouldn’t that just shift tanking to midseason rather than end of season?

      A lot of teams are willing to tank at the end of the year because they have no shot at the playoffs. They’d be much less likely to tank when they still had a shot at making the playoffs.

      And wouldn’t it result in the worst team on paper not ever having a chance for a top pick?

      How so?

    42. thenoblefacehumper

      The most problematic form of tanking comes at the end of the year when teams who realize they have no shot at the playoffs are almost all blatantly trying to lose. Very few teams do what the Sixers have done and actually plan on tanking from the start. So I think locking in lottery position early could go a long way towards solving the problem.

    43. stratomatic

      If you don’t make the playoffs you are put into a truly random lottery where everyone has the same chance of securing #1 or #14. That doesn’t capture the goal of league balance as well as the lottery, but it does help because it’s still only non playoff teams getting into the lottery. It totally eliminates tanking.

      Advantages.

      1. Lottery night becomes a much bigger and more exciting event for more fans. Teams like the Knicks, Nuggets, Pelicans, Pistons, etc.. would have every bit as good a chance of getting the #1 pick as teams like Boston, LA, and PHX.

      2. The Celtics potentially getting the #1 is a huge knock against the current system. It defeats the very purpose of a weighted lottery. That kind of “rich getting richer” scenario due to be bad trades would get mitigated because the Celtics would simply be another lottery team that could get anywhere from 1-14 in equal chances.

      3. The idea that you have to be really good or really bad becomes irrelevant. If you are the 18 best team, you are no longer stuck in that middle area with no escape. You still have a shot at the top pick. So maybe teams would be less willing to blow themselves up if they could see a path out from the middle.

    44. djphan

      i actually think the current system is fine… the issue is more that the owners need to hold their gm’s, coaches and players accountable for being continuously crappy….

    45. Frank

      Disadvantage of non-weighed lottery — teams would be tanking to get out of the playoffs.

      You have to align the interests of the fans, players, coaches, front offices, and the league as a whole. The way it is now, the fans want losses, the players want wins, the coaches are stuck in the middle depending on how secure (or new!) their contracts are. Some front offices are secure enough in their position that they can actually want losses, but some aren’t, creating this perverse system in which one front office can leverage their willingness (DESIRE!) to lose to take advantage of teams that are actually trying to win. It is all so backward, and has led to truly embarrassing basketball these last few weeks.

      IMHO the only way to stop tanking is to actually incentivize winning. That way there’s no worry about “should I tank to get out of the playoffs to get my shot at the lottery vs. going out in 4-5 games against GS”.

    46. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      What about tiers, where <25 wins is the bottom tier, and every team in it gets the same chance at #1. Then <30 is tier two; <35 tier three, etc… You may get a team here and there losing a game to sneak down a tier, but it deters the "extended tank" to a greater degree than the current lottery system seems to.

      That might exacerbate the problem. Then you’d have greater weight placed on individual games (with a team at 29 wins trying to tank extremely hard, whereas a team at 30 with 4 games left to play wouldn’t — the quality of play between these two teams would still be absolutely awful). There is no solution aside from removing the incentive to lose. None.

    47. GoldClub

      The allocations I proposed weigh each of these pros/cons and come up with a better solution. It should be a full lottery (not just top 3) with different weightings (the ones I proposed). It also would make for a very cool lottery draw where there would only be 59 ping pong balls and you’d continue to draw them (discarding teams already selected) until the last team is allocated. The drama would be amazing. You could even see the ball/ balls for your team bouncing around in there…

      The other thing to consider is that the owners might actually support my proposal, so unlike a pure wheel or some other more radical proposal (Frank, no offense but your proposal would never get the requisite support) it could happen.

    48. Hugo Busto

      Here’s a solution.

      Eliminate the draft. Eliminate max player salary. Make it a hard cap.

      Then see what happens.

      You want lonzo or fultz then sign them to what you value them at

      EZ game

    49. er

      fuck Chad Ford.

      how he still has a job is beyond me

      Ditto…although i think he works for himself now

    50. er

      I think the salary free for all is also an idea…..Small teams couldnt bitch either due to the hard cap

    51. Frank

      hard cap and no draft would be basically a nonstarter for players association (hard cap) and owners (no draft).

      The draft is big business, and also represents hope for the non-playoff teams’ fans – I don’t see it going anywhere.

      I really don’t see why my proposal is so radical. Incentivize wins instead of losses. Make it unpredictable enough that teams can’t game it. Done.

    52. Hugo Busto

      Yea it would never happen the whole hD cap/no draft.

      It would favor smarter teams/gms but would also make it super hard to form “super” teams.

    53. Brian Cronin

      Ditto…although i think he works for himself now

      ESPN still employs him despite the scandal, for some reason. Is he really that irreplaceable?

    54. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Discussing a hard cap with no draft is like discussing a straight-up Carmelo for LeBron trade. Why are you doing it?

    55. Hugo Busto

      Because it is arguably the best idea.

      Why are we discussing creating a second division like in soccer?

      Could ask your question for tons of things that get discussed here.

      Why do posters create 4 team trade machines? Etc. etc

    56. wetbandit

      All lottery teams should have equal odds of all picks. That’s it. Eliminate playing to lose. It does suck to watch, and may be counterproductive in a lot of cases

    57. Frank

      All lottery teams should have equal odds of all picks. That’s it. Eliminate playing to lose. It does suck to watch, and may be counterproductive in a lot of cases

      Again, equalizing lottery odds will just make teams tank to get out of the playoffs.

      You can’t incentivize anything but winning. Anything else and teams will game it.

    58. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      Again, equalizing lottery odds will just make teams tank to get out of the playoffs.

      You could add the first round losers to the lottery. Literally no team is going to tank the playoffs to gain a 1/22 chance of getting the #1 pick.

    59. GoldClub

      I don’t think teams will tank to get out of the playoffs (the $ and prestige of making the playoffs are too big). The goal should be to keep a progressive system while greatly reducing the inscentive to tank.

    60. thenoblefacehumper

      Do we honestly think we won the TIM HARDAWAY JR. trade?

      We traded away the only asset we got for THJ for the 44th overall pick, so we’re pretty much disqualified from having won the trade.

      I don’t see any reason to miss THJ himself though. His scoring has become pretty solid but he doesn’t do much of anything else and is still miserable defensively. He’s fine value on his rookie deal but he seems destined to be overpaid.

    61. Brian Cronin

      He’s fine value on his rookie deal but he seems destined to be overpaid.

      So much so that the Hawks were trying to dump him just so that they could avoid paying him.

    62. Nick C.

      Part of the problem is that the sport lends itself to one or two players per team being able to have a disproportionate impact on every game (a pitcher is but one game out of three or four). Couple that with the marketing plan of promoting “stars” over the beauty of the game itself and the “superstar calls>” and it is a very very very top heavy sport. Unlike in the NFL or MLB wild card teams (or their equivalent in the NBA) have next to no chance. There really is no incentive to just make the playoffs and have a Giants type of post season. I think that is the other side of the coin.

    63. heavencent35

      I’m hearing Phil wants monk but based on the comments I think we don’t like him. Hmm why? What’s his ceiling and floor? Got a feeling we will get that monk guy.

    64. TheOakmanCometh

      Part of what’s good about Frank’s system is that it not only removes the incentive to lose, but it also adds the incentive to win late in the season. And it keeps fans interested even in a lost season.

      If you simply weighted all lottery teams equally, there would no longer be incentive to lose, but wins would become irrelevant as well. Fans would stop caring about lottery teams late in the season. Once the Knicks were eliminated from the playoffs, would you care if they won 25 games or 35 games? I wouldn’t. I’d just tune them out.

    65. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      @71 I believe that many question Monk’s defensive ability mostly because of his size and length. His offense is really unquestionable.

    66. The Honorable Cock Jowles

      We’re going to get a very good player in this draft whether we’re 3rd or 8th.

      Soon, every player in the NBA will be above-average!

    67. TheOakmanCometh

      Doing some schedule-gazing….

      We need Sac and Minny to win 1 of their final 2 games each. Sac hosts Phx tomorrow and plays at LAC on Wednesday. There’s a chance that LAC won’t need that game and will sit everyone. For that to happen, they need to win at home vs Houston tonight AND have Utah lose at GS tonight. If that happens, LAC might rest everyone against Sacto.

      Minny hosts OKC tomorrow and plays @Hou Wednesday. Neither Hou nor OKC needs the win, so both could rest guys.

    68. TheOakmanCometh

      Also, Philly hosts Indy tonight. If they win, we have a chance to catch them in our finale on Wednesday. if they lose, we have no shot.

      Orlando plays @Chi and vs Det. They have to win both and we have to lose vs Philly to catch them. Highly unlikely.

    69. TheOakmanCometh

      FWIW, 538 predicts all five teams to win one more game and therefore remain in their current draft order.

    70. KBrazilian

      Lots of ideas about the lottery, but most of them, I think, have no chance whatsoever of being approved by the owners. The lottery is the only thing bad/mismanaged teams have going for them after midseason, in general. The prospect of being really bad and, to top that, not having the guarantee of a high draft pick would certainly alienate some fan bases. Even here on Knickerblogger, many posters live by the next draft, since the on-court product is not fine. If the Knicks had the same chance of a lottery pick right now as the Nuggets, I think many people wouldn’t even care about seeing the end of this losing era anymore.

      So, owners and GMs like Vivek and Vlade, Dolan and Phil always can “sell” the illusion that next year things gonna be alright. If there’s no hope, there will be no fans to fill an arena in Minneapolis or Sacramento. And once in a lifetime, wrecked teams will hit the jackpot and land a guy like LeBron James or Anthony Davis, that suddenly validate all those year of misery. If you deny this to fans, they will soon or later direct all their anger to the management, so the OWNERS need the draft to protect themselves of such fate, and that’s why I think that weighted system will never change. Parity would remove the incentives to lose, yes, but would make the top executives more vulnerable and exposed, since they would not be able to “hide” behind a high draft pick.

      ON THE OTHER HAND, I can see, if the League makes some pressure, a system where the worst team wouldn’t have a top 4 guaranteed, but something like a top 6 or top 7, and the ping-pong balls would be distributed in a more “equal” way (instead of 25%, the worst team gets 18%, something like that). And maybe the 8-seed (and 7-seed) of each Conference would get some (few) ping-pong balls too.

      And @Frank: congratulations for the creativity, but I strong disagree with the idea, since it doesn’t take in account the myriad of random things that happen in a season and influence teams records very much, like injuries and strength of the schedule.

      My (long) 2 cents.

    71. Reub On Our Way To Greatness

      “Soon, every player in the NBA will be above-average!”

      We can only hope that that day is coming soon!
      What a great world it would be!

    72. Ben R

      My draft solution:

      First it starts with revamping the cap. No max salaries, three year contracts on players first and second contract, two year max length on third contract and on. Rookies restricted after first contract no restriction after. Basically gives the drafting teams control for first 6 seasons, players control after.

      Soft cap but teams can only sign players to contracts that put them over the cap if the player has been with the team three years or more and only if they are under the cap when they sign the player. Basically each team can do it once and only with players that have been there a long time. Also you can sign minimum players and rookie scale players when you are over the cap.

      Then instead of a draft you have an auction for the top picks, $10 million minimum bid, each team can only get one player and only teams that missed the playoffs or were eliminated in the first round can bid. Once everyone is done bidding probably after the first 3-7 players then draft order is in order of worst record to best but teams that got one of the players in the auction don’t get another 1st rounder. Then second round is the same as it is now. Team cannot trade future picks or rights to players and players cannot be traded until midway through their first year on a contract.

      That’s my solution, hopefully by making players get paid what their worth then you won’t have situations where teams can have more than one top 10 player. Also by eliminating the tanking for the top 3-7 players then tanking has less value because the difference between the 8th pick and 11th pick is a lot smaller than the difference between the 1st and 4th.

    73. KBrazilian

      Other thing I think we’re not considering here: the NBPA. It seems to me that the players actually BENEFIT from the tankapalooza. It’s in tanking teams that you will see, for example, veterans getting money to not play and the majority of the D-Leaguers that play in the NBA. For the fringe-NBA players, there’s no better opportunity to land a job than with a team interested in “work” and “develop” new guys, specially if they do not have NBA caliber and “helps” them to lose some games. Just look at 76ers roster from the 2014-2015 season, how many undrafted rookies played for them?

    74. Accidentank 2017

      Fultz over Ball is pretty easy to me. Today’s contenders (and most throughout history) usually have an offense in which the ball moves around without the need for an actual ball dominant distributor. Lonzo Ball will probably lead the NBA in assists for a decade but his teams will likely lose in the 2nd round if the offense is predicated around him solely. If you put him on a team where you take the ball out of his hands and run a motion offense, you’re wasting his talents as a clairvoyant set-up man. Markelle Fultz’s game is made for a motion offense because he’s more inclined to score the ball and move around without it a la Steph Curry. I love Chris Paul to death but offenses built with him as the focal point have often been shut down in the playoffs. The P&R is everybody’s favorite cup of tea but none of Dallas, Miami, San Antonio, Golden State, or Cleveland were P&R heavy teams when they won their championships. Motion offenses where the scoring threat isn’t set in stone is how you win in basketball.

      What I’m getting at is I think Markelle Fultz is the more versatile player and can kill you with or without the ball. His talents won’t be wasted in any system you put him in, and that’s why he’s been the #1 overall prospect all year. Ball is fantastic but his funky jumper and game (he needs the ball in his hands at all times to be effective) make me go with Fultz over him all day.

    75. Ben R

      The thing I forgot to mention about my solution: The auction for picks is what the pick will get paid not just an auction. So if a team bids $15 million for the first pick the player would get $15 million a year for three years, etc.

    76. stratomatic

      Disadvantage of non-weighed lottery — teams would be tanking to get out of the playoffs.

      IMO, the chances of teams tanking to miss the playoffs are virtually nil. I would be so shocked if anyone actually did that it I would be thinking about it for months because it would make so little economic sense. For one, no even remotely considers it now. The financial incentives for making the playoffs are too strong and could made even stronger if someone was insane enough to actually try it.

      Even with a non weighted lottery there won’t be a huge incentive to miss the playoffs. It doesn’t guarantee you anything close to a franchise changing premium pick. You would be giving up a pile of money, the fans would hate you for tanking a playoff run, and on average you’d only wind up with a 7-8 pick for all your trouble.

    77. stratomatic

      Here’s a solution.

      Eliminate the draft. Eliminate max player salary. Make it a hard cap.

      Then see what happens.

      You want lonzo or fultz then sign them to what you value them at

      EZ game

      This is massively superior to all the complex systems people are looking to create that will create unintended consequences, get gamed by the smartest executives, and not meet all the goals of the “idealistic” system anyway.

    78. dtrickey

      Draft solution: Owners and GM’s face off in a Battle Royale/Hunger Games style event, with the winner securing the first overall pick. Entertainment value for fans is through the roof and it gives hope for the teams with incompetent owners/front offices.

    79. Z-man

      And wouldn’t it result in the worst team on paper not ever having a chance for a top pick?

      How so?

      BC, Wouldn’t the teams that “qualified” for the lottery now have to “compete” for the top draft spot? If this is so, then wouldn’t the best team, say, the Nuggets, now get the top pick instead of, say, the Lakers?

    80. Brian Cronin

      BC, Wouldn’t the teams that “qualified” for the lottery now have to “compete” for the top draft spot? If this is so, then wouldn’t the best team, say, the Nuggets, now get the top pick instead of, say, the Lakers?

      Oh, wait, which suggested change were you responding to? Frank’s idea? I thought you were referencing Mike’s suggestion.

    81. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Lonzo had one of the lowest usages of any good PG in the NCAA. He doesn’t need the ball in his hands at all times–he does most of his damage off transitions and set plays/cuts made in motion.

      UCLA is a motion offense, btw.

    82. nicos

      I’m not sure what the virtue of a low usage point guard is. Calderon in his prime was a low usage, high TS%, high assist rate point guard and no doubt a prime Calderon who also rebounds would be terrific but is that what you want out of the first pick? Harden/Curry are the models for the current NBA and both of those guys are very high usage. Nash’s prime years were all in the low twenties so I’d like to see Ball get somewhere around there. To do that he is going to need to be able to create his own shot better than he showed in college- those step back threes he relied on aren’t going to be so easy to get off in the NBA. I think he’ll figure it out- he doesn’t have a blazing first step but it’s not bad and he’s got great size though he probably needs to get stronger to make use of it to create his own offense. Of course you don’t want a high usage ball-dominant point guard unless he’s going to score efficiently. Fultz could definitely wind up being Marbury 2.0. I’d be thrilled with either guy but still think Fultz is the safer pick.

    83. Silky Johnson, Fleet Admiral of the Tank Armada

      Yeah I didn’t mean to imply that low usage was inherently good, just responding to massive’s to my mind mistaken impression that Lonzo needs the ball in his hands at all times to be effectively utilized.

    84. Accidentank 2017

      Jason Kidd had a career usage of 18.1% but he had the ball all the time.

      Rajon Rondo never posted a usage over 21.7% but he’s been a ball dominant guard the entire time.

      John Stockton, another ball dominant guard, had a career usage of 18.7%.

      Usage is really about how many of the team’s plays end in your taking an FGA. It doesn’t depict actual time a player holds onto the ball. I think Lonzo Ball is a floor general who dictates the pace of a game. I’d rather have Fultz because he too can control the pace, but he’s a guy who can come off the ball and run around screens in our triangle motion offense. Fultz can let KP and Hernangomez create for him, and he can create for them. He can be equally effective as a P&R Harden type or a Steph Curry 0 guard type. That’s why I like Fultz over Ball; he can be an All NBA 1 or 2.

    85. Philmelo

      I don’t understand. Fultz had the ball in his hands waaaaay more than Lonzo Ball did in college. Where is this idea coming that Fultz is going to make more plays off the ball than Ball did?

    86. Accidentank 2017

      The idea is that Fultz’s feel for the game and his basketball tools are more diverse and allow for him to do more. Lonzo is excellent at 3 things: shooting 3s, dunking, and passing. That makes him a great guard prospect but Fultz has the in between game and the slashing ability that make him a better fit for what should be an unpredictable offense. In an offense where you either make a move or pass it, I like Fultz. If I want an offense where I need one guy to make his one dimensional teammates better, I take Ball.

      I’d be happy with both guards, but Lonzo looks like the type of guy who covers up his teammates’ flaws until they get into the playoffs and the team collapses. He also needs a very spaced floor on offense due to the hitch in his jumper. He made like 7 mid range jumpers all year because of his shooting form, which again limits the type of offense he can play in.

      Lonzo Ball vs Markell’s Fultz is a lot like Leonard Fournette vs Dalvin Cook. Fournette plays the position better than Cook, but Fournette is a scheme specific player. You need to run a power run offense and put a fullback in front of him and he’ll get you 1600 yards a season. Cook, on the other hand, can run out of any blocking scheme without a fullback and can get you 1,000 yards receiving as well as be a 300 carry running back. I like Cook more than Fournette, but I can see the argument for either guy.

      Versatility means a lot to me when evaluating a prospect. Ball isn’t a guy I see in many systems. He’s a guy you give the rock and watch him run the magic show every night. He’s the engine. Fultz seems like a super efficient cog in a well oiled machine.

    87. djphan

      fultz is better than ball… i’m so surprised how so many ppl think it’s close … it’s like comparing manning vs ryan leaf…

    88. Philmelo

      fultz is better than ball… i’m so surprised how so many ppl think it’s close … it’s like comparing manning vs ryan leaf…

      Ball is comparable to Ryan Leaf? Are you fucking serious?

    89. er

      So do we have a consensus top 10 in the draft on this board?

      I think the top 4 are
      1) Fultz
      2)Ball
      3)Josh Jackson
      4) D Fox

    90. Grocer

      This is a really interesting discussion. I think the goal of the league with the lottery is not to achieve parity, the goal is to maintain and expand the fan base. Parity is just one way of many to improve the product on the floor. The draft sends the anticipated stars to the worst teams which builds interest in those teams regardless of their overall performance. More eyes on the screen, more asses in seats, more jerseys sold. The lottery makes it more random, and ask any inveterate gambler about how well that kind of reinforcement works. I’m sure they’d like to minimize tanking, but not in any way that would decrease that spread of talent.

      The tanking is worse this year mostly cause it’s a deep draft. But it’s a catch-22. Rewarding the worst teams is the point, and I’m not sure they’re wrong. A handful of teams trying to lose games at the end of the season is bad, but spreading around the players who generate the most interest is probably more important to the health of the league than stopping tanking.

    91. er

      I think the goal of the league with the lottery is not to achieve parity

      Thats exactly what its for. Its just not winning parity, its tanking parity.

    92. Grocer

      It’s not winning parity, that’s for sure. Too many other factors. But a team with a budding star, that’s interesting. People will watch that. And interesting is much easier to achieve than winning.

    93. Z-man

      Fultz and Ball are almost certainly going to be very good players and possibly all-NBA types. Both have flaws, but come on, they’re 19 years old and already NBA-ready. They are not can’t miss NBA immortals, but I would have no fear drafting either one of them.

      Josh Johnson and Fox are most likely good NBA players. Their ceiling is probably lower than the above, but I can’t see either of them not making a quick adjustment to the NBA.

      Tatum is the typical Duke star that might not be as good at the next level.

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