A Corrupt Bargain

By Dhruv Ohri

Once a team feels that they have no chance of making the playoffs, a difficult decision comes their way. In the NBA the team that finishes with the worst record has the highest chance of claiming the number one lottery pick in the draft and acquiring young talent that can possibly turn the franchise around. This system is corrupt because it gives teams incentive to lose games on purpose if their season is virtually over. Any sensible franchise would and probably should throw a bunch of the last couple games of the season in order to increase their chances in scoring big in the draft. This system essentially divides the NBA during the final weeks of the season into two parts, teams that are desperately trying to make the playoffs or increase their playoff rank, and teams that don’t give a damn.

A possible correction to this flawed system could be to organize the teams that have no chance of making the playoffs into a draw and have them compete for the top spot. The team that earns the top spot in this mock playoff event earns an extra ten percent chance of landing the top pick, the finalist earns an extra five percent chance, and the semi finalists earn an extra 2.5 % chance. These percentages could be subtracted from the bottom finishers in a system in which 25% of each of the bottom eight teams chances of acquiring the top pick are subtracted. This is a sure fire way of making the last few weeks of the regular season competitive and gives the teams competing for the playoffs a less corrupt way of acquiring the seed as they will play other teams competing for the same spot and not teams that are looking to throw games.

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