NBA board of governors to vote on draft lottery reform, resting players

Greenberg: NBA tanking has become a huge issue (0:55)

Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic applaud the NBA competition committee for recommending draft lottery reform. (0:55)

The NBA competition committee has recommended the league proposals on draft lottery reform and guidelines for the resting of players to the board of governors for final approval, league sources told ESPN.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been determined to pass a plan that deters the tactic of tanking games to gain access to better odds at higher picks and the resting of players in nationally televised games.

The competition committee also recommended a plan to the board of governors to curb the resting of healthy players in the regular season, league sources told ESPN. The proposed guidelines for resting players will encourage teams to sit healthy players for home rather than away games, and discourage the practice during nationally televised games.

The board of governors will vote on instituting the changes at a meeting in New York on Sept. 28. The plan to change the Draft Lottery will need a three-quarters majority to pass into legislation. The recommendation on resting players needs a simple majority.

The NBA's proposed changes to the system would begin with the 2019 draft and include a smoothing-out of odds among the league's worst teams, league sources said.

For example, the three worst teams currently have a 25 percent, 19.9 percent and 15.6 percent chance of winning the No. 1 overall pick, respectively. Under the new plan, those teams would each have a 14 percent chance, league sources said, and the odds for ensuing teams would drop incrementally by a percentage point or two.

Also, the league's three worst teams could fall further in the lottery than they might under the current institution, league sources said. The worst team could drop to fifth under the new plan, down from fourth. The second-worst record could move to sixth, down from fifth.

The NBA's 14 nonplayoff teams make up the league's annual draft lottery system.

The NBA competition committee, which is made up of several general managers and coaches, voted on the proposal Thursday in a meeting in Chicago.

At the apex of the Philadelphia 76ers' tanking saga, the board of governors voted down a somewhat more liberal proposal on lottery reform in 2014.

There is trepidation among small-market teams that lottery reform will make it even harder for non-destination markets to obtain star-level players through the draft, especially because of a pervasive belief that it has become increasingly hard to do so through free agency and trades. Teams believe that the process of trading for star players has become more difficult, with agents and players warning that they will leave come free agency and will never consider re-signing with those teams.

In the proposed resting legislation, Silver will have the discretionary ability to fine teams for resting players in several instances, including sitting multiple players outside of unusual circumstances in a single game, and healthy players in nationally televised ESPN, ABC and TNT games, league sources said.

When teams decide to rest players in games, they'll be encouraged to do so for home instead of away games. Also, star players sitting out games are expected to be on the bench during games and encouraged to be accessible to fans for interaction before the game, sources said.

The NBA rid the 2017-18 season schedule of back-to-back games around nationally televised appearances, giving teams less reason to sit out players for high-profile games.