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NBA owners vote down lottery reform

Sacramento voted for the change, but the reform's failure helps the Kings.

Alex Trautwig

The NBA's Board of Governors have voted down lottery reform, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.  This is big news, as the reform was widely expected to hurt small market teams.

But in an interesting turn of events, Woj reports that the Kings voted in favor of the reform.

The change would have worsened the odds for bad teams to have high lottery picks.  Under the current system, the team with the worst record can fall no farther than 4th, as the Kings experienced in 2009.  Under the proposed change, the worst team could fall as far as 8th.

The odds being spread out would have made it more difficult for teams to strategically use the draft to rebuild, as tanking would no longer ensure a high draft pick.  The reform was largely in response to the Philadelphia 76ers recent tanking efforts.

As Kings fans, this is good news.  While we hope the Kings will be a good team for years to come, we're simply not there yet.  There's a chance the current rebuild fails, and the Kings would once again be in the league's cellar.  Or, even in the best case, the Kings would eventually return to the cellar after their run of multiple championships.

Lottery reform would have had another consequence for Sacramento, as it would have increased the likelihood of the Kings conveying their owed pick from the Omri Casspi-JJ Hickson deal.  The first round pick is top-10 protected this season, and almost surely would have been conveyed under the new system.  The Chicago Bulls currently own the pick, as it was included in the package the Cleveland Cavaliers sent to Chicago in exchange for Luol Deng.

Small market teams rely on the lottery and the draft.  Weakening this tool would have hurt the competitive balance of small market teams.  Today's news is good news.  The big question then is trying to figure out why the Kings favored the reform.