by Yaron Weitzman / @YaronWeitzman

One of the major points of contention between the NBA owners and players during this lockout has been how to deal with the lack of competitive balance in the League. (That is, of course, if you believe this to be an issue). Players want more revenue sharing among the owners. The owners wants the players to take shorter contracts.

But what if there was another way to help losing teams get pointed in the right direction, and, in theory make money by putting together a more competitive and exciting team? What if there was an option out there that could give a small market franchise like the Milwaukee Bucks a better chance at landing a superstar?

From Chris Sheridan (via SheridanHoops.com):

SheridanHoops.com has learned that NBA owners have proposed adding a third round to the annual draft, a proposal that the players’ union has countered by offering an array of changes to the draft that would help address the owners’ desire for more competitive balance.

According to sources involved in the league’s collective bargaining discussions, the union has proposed various changes to the draft:

Under one proposal, the 15 teams with the worst records would continue to pick 1st through 15th, but then would also have the 16th through 30th picks. The teams with the top 15 records would have the first 15 picks of the second round, then would have the 44th through 60th picks, too. Under this proposal, the Chicago Bulls (whose 62-20 record was the league’s best last season) would have the 45th and 60th picks instead of the 30th and 30th picks. The Minnesota Timberwolves, who had the NBA’s worst record (17-65), would have their lottery pick and the 16th pick, but would no longer have the first pick of the second round — No. 31 overall.

Under another proposal, the teams with the eight worst records would get an additional first round pick, beginning with selection No. 22, and the teams with the eight best records would have no first-round picks but would select at the top of the second round (picks 31 through 38), then also would get the final eight picks of the second round.