If Philadelphia has a chance to defeat this proposal – and I don’t think it does – it will need to build a coalition of opposition among:
- Teams, like the 76ers themselves, that will be very bad in the short term
- Teams in line to send or receive protected draft picks that lose value if the setup changes
- Teams principally opposed to drastically changing the rules with such immediacy
The Orlando Magic support a proposal to reform the NBA Draft Lottery in which the teams with the four worst overall records would have nearly identical chances to win the top overall pick, according to an industry source with knowledge of the Magic’s thinking.
If the 76ers can’t get Orlando on their side, who can get they get?
In the last two years, the Magic have finished with the NBA’s worst and third-worst record. They’re projected to finish in the same range this year, especially since two of their top players – Victor Oladipo and Channing Frye – sprained an MCL.
This just illustrates the problem the 76ers face in battling this proposal. Every team outside Philadelphia believes its good enough to finish above the basement. Some are delusional – see the Magic – but only the 76ers have so willingly embraced long-term tanking to the point they lack preseason optimism.
There just aren’t enough teams involved with protected picks, and probably even fewer would take an ethical stance against changing the rules on the fly.
Philadelphia will just have to takes it medicine if this comes to a vote.