NBA draft method criticized for providing incentives to lose

Cesar Tordesillas – 4E Sports Contributor

Boston, MA, United States (4E Sports) – Former Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo revealed he tried to intentionally lose during the the 2011-12 season.


“I tried to tank a couple years ago,” Colangelo said Friday at the annual Sloan Conference on sports analytics at MIT on Friday. “And I didn’t come out and say, ‘Coach, you’ve got to lose games.’ I never said that.”

Colangelo noted that while he wanted to establish a winning tradition and a culture, he also felt the need to field his young players, and with that, comes losing.

The NBA’s method of giving worse non-playoff teams better odds of a higher pick was heavily cirticized in the discussion for providing teams with an incentive to lose.

Colangelo noted that when they won their final game of the 2011-12 season, they ended up picking eighth in the 2012 draft and selecting Terrence Ross.

Had they lost, he said they could have been in a coin flip for the No. 6 pick, which he emphasized, eventually became Damian Lillard.

Colangelo said he was even aiming for the No. 1 pick, but Toronto coach Dwane Casey was able to motivate players for more wins.

Former Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said he wants all teams to try to win every game.

He also called the Philadelphia 76ers embarrassing for sending a roster on the floor that translates to losing.

Van Gundy said he supports eliminating the NBA draft and allowing all rookies to enter the league through free agency.

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey didn’t endorse that specific plan, but he also wants the league to overhaul its method for assigning draft picks.

“We have to get rid of the marginal incentive to lose,” Morey said. 

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