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Proposed "Wheel" plan to solve the draft came from Celtics assistant GM Mike Zarren

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Forget the lottery, go with the wheel and kiss tanking goodbye.


Last week Zach Lowe of Grantland revealed a proposal that has been submitted to the league for approval that would radically change the way teams are assigned positions in the NBA draft. The Lottery would be replaced by a "wheel" that would pre-determine picks for all the teams in a cyclical order.

The NBA's Possible Solution for Tanking: Good-bye to the Lottery, Hello to the Wheel - The Triangle Blog - Grantland

Grantland obtained a copy of the proposal, which would eliminate the draft lottery and replace it with a system in which each of the 30 teams would pick in a specific first-round draft slot once — and exactly once — every 30 years. Each team would simply cycle through the 30 draft slots, year by year, in a predetermined order designed so that teams pick in different areas of the draft each year. Teams would know with 100 percent certainty in which draft slots they would pick every year, up to 30 years out from the start of every 30-year cycle.

Now this proposal is simply in the submitted stage. There's no telling if it will get approved by the owners. Even if it is approved it could see some alterations to it and it would almost certainly take several years to implement (Lowe mentions that draft trades would have to run their course, so our Nets picks are safe).

Still, it is an interesting and thought provoking idea to say the least. So it shouldn't come as too much surprise that the idea was born in the Celtics front office. Not Danny Ainge, but one of his assistants, known number cruncher Mike Zarren.

C’s Danny Ainge no fan of losing | Boston Herald

The intriguing and radical new draft proposal released this week through is a local product. The system, which uses a formula to have teams picking in each of the 30 positions over a 30-year span, is the creation of Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren.

The proposal is, not surprisingly, supported by Danny Ainge. In part because he's tired of hearing about "tanking."

"There are just all sorts of things that are in the current system that don't work and don't put all of the focus on winning, which is where it always should be. I just don't like that teams are being rewarded for losing. I don't think that's good for ownership. I don't think it's good for fans. I don't think it's good for players and coaches, anybody in the business."

It certainly is an interesting concept to think about.