No matter where you look in sports, big markets dominate the free agent pool. Not only is the idea of playing on Broadway, Hollywood or even South Beach enticing to any young, and extremely rich, athlete, but these teams also have the money to outbid for the best players. Whether it’s the Yankees, the Lakers, or the Heat, it’s hard for the Oklahoma City’s, the Denver’s and the Cleveland’s to keep up with any of the upper tier teams. Where this is especially prevalent, and could have a huge impact, is in the NBA this year.
The 2014 NBA Draft is expected to be one of the most talent-filled classes in recent memory. Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, Duke’s Jabari Parker, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart and Kentucky’s Julius Randle are all extremely young talents who are expected to have huge upsides. This potential is causing some teams in the NBA to take a dive and look at this season as a lost hope for hoops in some cities in North America.
If you take a look at the East, the current eight seed in the conference is the Celtics at 12-17. That’s right, a team that is five-games below .500 could make the playoffs. In the West, standards are a bit higher and Golden State sits at the eight spot with a 17-13 record. But the NBA also has five teams, Sacramento, Utah, Orlando, Philadelphia and Milwaukee with eight or less wins. Notice that the main theme for a lot of these teams is that they are in small markets and the idea of getting a top pick could completely change the luck of the franchise.
This last week, the NBA discussed the idea of a new system that would determine who gets the top pick in the draft. However, their idea for a spinning wheel that determines preselected seeding for as much as 30-years in the future seems to still have quite a few kinks to work out. However, it is apparent that something needs to be done.
Even if teams tank and get a top-pick the following year, there is no guaranteeing that pick will be enough to turn around a franchise (take a look at Anthony Bennett, Greg Oden, Kwame Brown, etc.). And this can have lasting effects on not just each team, but the NBA as a whole. When teams tank, their fans lose hope and stop going to games. That loss in revenue can have lasting effects on the financial stability of the franchise.
As for those betting against tanking teams, well there is plenty of an advantage to be had. As a matter of fact, these may be the only winners in this situation. If you know a team is tanking and purposely wants to lose, it surely becomes much easier to bet on their games.
We are just over two months into the NBA season, so we’ll have to keep watching to see if teams keep tanking, and what the leagues head office does in an attempt to try and counteract it. In the mean time, betters can use this knowledge to win against the spread.
As of 2013, with 30 NBA teams, 16 qualify for the playoffs and the remaining 14 teams are entered in the draft lottery. These 14 teams are ranked in reverse order of their regular season record and are assigned the following number of chances
- 250 combinations, 25.0% chance of receiving the #1 pick
- 199 combinations, 19.9% chance
- 156 combinations, 15.6% chance
- 119 combinations, 11.9% chance
- 88 combinations, 8.8% chance
- 63 combinations, 6.3% chance
- 43 combinations, 4.3% chance
- 28 combinations, 2.8% chance
- 17 combinations, 1.7% chance
- 11 combinations, 1.1% chance
- 8 combinations, 0.8% chance
- 7 combinations, 0.7% chance
- 6 combinations, 0.6% chance
- 5 combinations, 0.5% chance
Here are the odds for each seed to get specific picks if there were no ties (rounded to 3 decimal places):
The Wheel Draft system would like this:
I personally think it is the dumbest thing the NBA could propose. David Stern retires and this is the first big thing to come out from the NBA. Please….