The Sixers Are Mad That the NBA Wants Them to Stop Losing So Damned Much

League wants to change lottery so that tanking isn’t rewarded.

Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams

You know what was fun about this most recent Sixers season?

Not a damn thing. The team was built to lose, accomplished its mission, and ended up with the third pick in the draft. As a reward for fans, the Sixers now appear constructed to … lose a lot more in 2014-15, in hopes of securing just one more high draft pick.

The NBA has had enough. The league is pushing a new draft system that would give aggressively crappy teams like the Sixers a reduced chance of being rewarded with a high pick. Basically, every team that misses the playoffs would have the same chance, in the lottery, of getting the No. 1 pick.

Which means a team that tried to make the playoffs and just missed — a team that went 41-41, for example, and seemed mired in mediocrity — would have just as good a chance of draft rewards as the the team that deliberately lost as many games as possible.

The overall effect: Less incentive to suck.

The Sixers, naturally, are contesting this idea. They want to be free to suck just as much as possible until they’re ready to win championships.

ESPN reports:

The rough draft of this plan was met with opposition by 76ers management, which is in the midst of a multiseason rebuilding project that is dependent on a high pick next year. The 76ers, sources said, are hoping to get the NBA to delay the plan’s implementation for at least a year because it would act as a de facto punishment while just playing by the rules that have been in place.

The 76ers, however, may struggle to gain support from Silver or fellow teams for holding off on the changes. Philadelphia’s planned sink to the bottom has caused a drag on revenues in one of the league’s largest markets and has upset some other teams, sources said.

Yeah. It’d be a shame if the Sixers had to strive for mediocrity this season.

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  • Presbyton

    The Sixers cannot strive for mediocrity this season. They have not had a chance at real success since 2004. Why should the Sixers try for the 8th seed this year? So that we can lose a draft pick foolishly traded away by people who don’t even work here any more? Were last year’s Sixers really much less watchable than the team that nearly snuck into the (weak) Eastern Conference Finals? I watched a lot of both teams…last year’s was more fun. The current regime has at least convinced serious Sixers fans (the only type left as the Sixers have had successively worse seasons for a decade) that there is a plan, and there is hope.

    The best way to think is that the Sixers are a corporation that had somehow managed to acquire a lot of bad assets. They owned companies with huge pending liabilities, were over their head with payroll, and bankruptcy seemed a strong option. This new ownership is essentially Mitt Romney’ing the Sixers. They are selling off the bad assets, or the ones that are good but don’t make sense to own during a company downturn (Hawes, Holiday, Thad), and focusing on new, low overhead, high potential sectors of the market. While its painful as a shareholder to lose some of the few things I had left to love in the company, the Sixers have managed to quickly replace them (MCW, Nerlens Noel), and there is much more on the way (Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, next year’s top draft pick), and the future looks bright. In 2016, this team will be very difficult to beat, and the team would also have a lot of cap room to sign an impact free agent.

    • Turk502

      Well said. Plus, the disparity in the leagues makes this a fairly stupid proposition. The Bucks weren’t trying to lose this year, they added significant pieces last offseason. They won 15 games. Phoenix missed the playoffs in the West while winning 48 games. You’re telling me that a team with a .585 winning percentage should have the same chances of landing the #1 pick as a team with a .183? Atlanta won 10 fewer games than Phoenix (playing worse teams in the East) and made the playoffs.