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Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 at 10:33 am  |  60 responses

NBA Owners Propose Adding Third Round To Draft


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.

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  • Mark

    oklahoma have proved that with a few trades, that you can build a playoff team through the draft. The teams with the best record normaly trade away the first round picks anyway.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    YES, BECAUSE THE GUYS AT THE END OF THE SECOND ROUND ARE SO GOOD, A THIRD ROUND WILL SURELY PRODUCE WORTHY TALENT.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Ummmm….I still don’t understand how adding one more round to the draft improves “competitive balance”. It’s not like the second round is overflowing with good players each year and part from a couple gems here and there in the second round, most of those guys are bench players or D League bound.
    The owners are just bringing up random ish to make it seem like they care about improving competitive balance. How bout agreeing to revenue sharing like the MLB does and still manages to stay competitive despite teams like the RedSox and Yankees’ payroll doubling other teams.

  • LA Huey

    Interesting, the 15th worst team from the regular season, would not only be the 8th seed in the East but also get two picks under one of the proposals? Both proposals are very interesting. Players should still concede to shorter contracts.

  • LA Huey

    *Both of the players proposals are interesting

  • jayb

    not to be a prick but revenue sharing makes the most sense and any idiot can figure that out. i hate using baseball as the benchmark but a team say the knicks and lakers have their own netorks! they are also on tnt and abc most of the time. that said you split tnt and abc/espn money evenly like nfl with fox/cbs movey. if a big market teams go over cap aka luxury tax;they pay small teams like yanks do. pretty easy. unbelievable how these owners claim to be good biz men and they run franchises into the ground! damn! come on stern get this done! i want a full season!

  • LA Huey

    Actually, unless there are changes to the way rookie contracts are structured, wouldn’t this potentially cripple those teams the draft is trying to help? They could saddle themselves with TWO bad contracts a year if those rookies turn out to be weak. I guess we’re back to revenue sharing and evaluating talent better.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    Unfrozen and JTaylor, did you guys even bother to read the article?

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    I don’t much care for this. Third round doesn’t change anything except teams looking for even more swing or miss type players. Revenue sharing is a good idea, but reallocating the draft picks is bad, it means less playing time for young prospects, and could see young teams simply stuck near the bottom which would increase the gap between contenders and everyone else even more.

  • T-Wat

    the only way get anyone to stay in milwakee is to change those uhly ass uni’s…. or just move outta milwakee

  • DieselMechanic

    It’s a good idea. It wouldn’t have a huge effect but look at the d-league success stories, and the 2nd round gems. I’m sure some good talent would come out of adding another round. There are a lot of guys every year that go undrafted that end up having great overseas careers and probably should have been in the nba instead.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    I think its a good idea, but LA Huey made a good point about the contracts. Maybe make the first round picks only partially guaranteed?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    I think the last idea is the best, and it makes sence.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Huey
    Rookie contracts are crazy cheap. At the top of the scale you only make $3 million annually and at the bottom it can be less than $1 million. Plus, only the first two years are guaranteed, years three and four are typically team options.

  • http://SLAMonline.com GotHandles?

    DUMB

  • LA Huey

    If that’s the case, I guess that could work. I remember them being pricier than that. What do you think about a 3rd round? I don’t see a point in it unless every team is going to invest a significant amount into developing those players in the D-League (a few already do).

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    wth would adding a 3rd round do? You really need an opportunity for every team to draft a player they will eventually cut? In the 3rd round over the last 5 years a team would have found what Gary Neal, and Wes Matthews (who still found jobs without this magical 3rd round) and that’s it?

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I think that changing up the lottery system only further rewards tanking and cost cutting.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    I agree. I have no idea what the solution should be though. I was thinking reward the teams closest to the playoffs by giving them picks 4-9, make (1-3)still subject to the lottery system currently in place. But that would make the already strong stronger, and only improve some of the weak. But IMO that would get rid of the dreaded being stuck in the middle of the pack that happens so often to teams not willing to rebuild. What you think of something like that?

  • LA Huey

    I think the point of the 3rd round would be for the owners to call dibs on some players they think might be worth their while down the road. I don’t think this really helps “competitive balance” but rewards teams that are already doing well with their scouting. What I’m wondering is what disadvantage it would be the players that they feel its necessary to bring up a counter proposal.

  • MLK4Life

    There is no way to make it more competitive. Some teams will win, some will lose. That’s just how it is. Especially now that most of the stars are trying to play together. I can understand the owners wanting to be more competitive, but if you’re not an attractive city, chances are good you won’t be winning unless you do well in the draft like OK City. And I don’t feel sorry for owners who give guys bad contracts.

  • dma

    more stashing of foreign players who have never realistically entertained the thought of playing in the US

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    a 3rd round would work. If they got rid of the age restriction. — But as dma said, it would be a foreigner heavy round year in and year out.

  • bike

    Consider implementing the same requirement as in pro football—draft eligibility is limited to players three years out of high school. There needs to be a more thorough evaluation of player’s ability, character, and work ethic to minimize the bloated contract/underperforming player relationship. It won’t solve everything but what you want is assurance that the best overall candidates for the league get drafted and get out of this mode where teams take these big chances on some kid based on potential and ‘upside’.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    Generally speaking, a player is more successful in the NBA straight out of high school then after 4 years of college. Making a guy wait even longer to get in the NBA isn’t going to solve anything, plus, were you FORCED to wait to start your career after high school?

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    Spurs will still find a way to come out winning.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The reason why they make you wait three years in the NFL is so that they can pimp you longer in the NCAA. I think Goodell has shown where his loyalties lie.
    As I’ve told Bike before, and he’s chosen to ignore, all evidence points to the fact that high school players are more successful than four year seniors. Hell, early entry candidates are better than college seniors. The only reason for players to stay in college longer is to save money for the NBA or NFL on development costs, make money for the NCAA and make money for the NBA by developing a player’s profile longer. Those are the reasons behind the age limits.

  • LA Huey

    btw, I’d like them to return to the days where they had 7 rounds. I’ve been wanting to declare myself eligible for the draft for a long time and my chances of getting accidently drafted by an NBA team get better more rounds there are.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    You can’t compare the NBA careers of college seniors to high school seniors. College seniors have worse NBA careers because they simply aren’t talented enough. That’s why they stayed in school for 4 years in the first place. People come out of HS or are early entry candidates because they are really good. You think if Lebron or KG and Kobe decided to go to college and stay for 4 years, their careers would have some how been worse?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    haha I’m with you Huey. I think they should institute an MLB like draft, just have a few hundred picks but then again, you don’t declare for that draft, they just draft you, whether your ready for it or not. My high school rivals had 6 kids get drafted straight outta high school, I had 4 teammates get drafted after their first year of Community College. I just want the opportunity to declare, so can I declare for next year regardless? where are the forms?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    The point is DFrance, the only advantage to having a guy stay in college is that the NCAA makes more money off of them, and the NBA gets to capitalize on the name recognition of the players that got famous beating up on lesser talent. Other then that it would be better for these guys to go pro younger, and focus on developing their skills as a full-time basketball player, rather then a half-time basketball player, quarter time student, quarter college kid. Basically it doesn’t benefit the player to stay in school longer if they are an NBA talent, it just benefits the fans and people making money. Would you appreciate being used in such a way?

  • respect

    did any of u read? but hey if this is what it takes im not against it

  • Shem

    Stupid, the 15th worst team would get 2 first rounders and be playing in the playoffs while the 14th seed wouldn’t get a single 1st rounder. Too much of a gap over a few wins in my opinion.

  • DFrance

    Nbk I’m in total agreement. That was my point. If you have NBA talent you leave which is why underclassmen and high schoolers generally have better careers than college seniors. People are saying high schoolers are more successful as if they are more successful because they didn’t go to college for 4 years which is not the case. Is an age restriction exploitative? Absolutely, but I can’t agree that your actual NBA career will suffer because of it… Barring injury of course.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    Your right, but that injury risk, is it worth it? Like Greg Oden, do you think him staying in college would have improved his life? Because I would argue that, given his injury history, and how much money he has made being injured, staying in college may have drastically altered the quality of Oden’s living conditions. just an example.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    I think that too much is put on the injury risk scenario. Injuries are a part of the game and can happen at any point. The thing with Oden is that you never know. Maybe he would have rehabbed properly because he wouldn’t have rushed back because he felt the pressure of living up to being a well paid #1 pick.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dfrance21 dfrance21

    ^I mean had he stayed in college, maybe he would have…

  • bike

    Players either drafted straight out of high school or after one year of college can do as well as any other player in the NBA. However, one of the big criticisms of the owners is giving bloated contracts to players that either underperform or have not demonstrated the play that justifies the money. So, why would the owners do something so stupid? Every team has a small army of coaches and scouts that judge a player’s ability. Do the coaches and scouts make proper evaluations and the owner simply ignores them and goes ahead and overpays a player? I doubt it. Are the coaches and scouts stupid? Maybe, or maybe they sometimes make decisions based upon little information and/or base a player’s worth on potential. Think Kwame or Curry. Forget the LeBrons and Kobes. They are the exceptional talents that justifies coming straight out of high school. It just sounds like there is a need for a better assessment of a players worth. The owners are making bad decisions but they are getting bad advice from somone.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    DFrance, I know that.
    That’s why the idea that these players actually benefit from going to college to work on their games is ridiculous. Kevin Durant would be the same player whether he spent one year at Texas or not. Derrick Rose the same thing. Even Beasley. College was a sham and would be a shame whether they are forced to spend one year or three there. Same thing is true for these football cats.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’m not saying that their better because they skipped college, I’m saying that arguing that college IMPROVES their lives, while ignoring the potential for career ending injury, is dishonest.
    Basically, forcing these players to serve and internship where the immense earning potential could be stripped from them be a snapped tendon is ridiculous. Any benefits they accrue pale in comparison to what they risk.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    If you get injured after you signing a guaranteed contract your life is drastically different than if you get injured before you sign one. This is just common sense.

  • LA Huey

    @nbk, if you want to declare for the NBA draft and you have no name recognition, you basically have to trick the league office into accepting your declaration. You may want to do some research into “Zach Feinstein”. Check out his website, it’d be a good waste of time. I will declare myself eligible whenever my Sonics return to the NBA.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    These guys are definitely further along going to the NBA then they would be staying in college in terms of basketball skills. Its pretty ridiculous too think a professional who gets paid to spend all day everyday focusing on their profession would be worse then a guy who has to spend his time doing homework and taking classes in addition to learning a system, all while trying to improve individually. The idea that college prepares players for the NBA is purely a mental thing, and it’s also an opinion thing, because plenty of 4-year college players come out with just as much immaturity as some of the guys coming out of high school. I mean i’m sure college would have helped some past guys prepare mentally for being an independent adult at the NBA, but that is the minority, and not really something that should be up to he organization as much as the individual.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    Oh Huey I think I rememebr that guy in like 07, he even got invited to some pre-draft stuff right?

  • LA Huey

    I don’t know about the pre-draft stuff. He just got the requisite paperwork sent to him as far as I know.
    As Allenp cited earlier in a reply one of my comments, the rookie wage scale makes it pretty hard to “overpay” a rookie. You’re really just squandering a draft pick on underclassmen. I’m surprised there are still people debating the merits of barring guys from getting into the NBA until they’re X years old.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    Some people see the system in the NFL and think “hey that should be applied to the NBA” – When really the first reason the NFL keeps players out until they are older (or more physically mature) is too reduce the chances of them being seriously injured, which is not in any way a concern in the NBA. — And if anyone thinks a rookie in the NBA is overpaid then they in no way understand the salary structure of the league.

  • bike

    If a high school player is truly exceptional along the lines of a LeBron, let them come straight into the league. All others should spend a minimum of three years in college. Some of these posts suggest a kid doesn’t get any additional basketball skills by playing in college when there are plenty of kids that are told by NBA scouts they need at least another year at the college level to develop. Take Eddy Curry the poster boy for bloated contracts. Three years in college might have uncovered his heart condition, propensity to overdose on fried chicken, and poor work ethic.

  • LA Huey

    ^I hear you but to even say the age limit in the NFL is to “reduce the chances of them being seriously injured” sounds more like a concern for the players. It’s really just for the NCAA to develop their future product at no cost to them. I wouldn’t go so far as to say college football benefits because I think they’d still make money hand-over-fist even if their talent kept skipping school for the big league (ie. NCAA hoops).

  • jake

    Even though its a different sport, Tom brady has proven that it doesn’t matter what round you are drafted in. There are so many 1st round draft busts, and just as many quality players overlooked each year. A third round would be great!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    bike – when a scout says a guy needs another year of college, he is referring to the fact that in the NBA he won’t get playing time. So, really, he probably shouldn’t be making himself eligible for the draft. There is a difference between intelligently coming out, and coming out because you think your better then you are. For the most part those, guys that do come out of high school have considerably more successful NBA careers then guys that stay in college. (Same thing applies over the last few years to guys that come out after 1 year of college opposed to staying for 2 or more)

  • http://therurbangriot.com The NUPE

    I like the concept that the worse 15 teams get two first-round picks, this can have the effect of more competitive teams over time. It doesn’t howeever do anything to help smaller market/less desireable cities from retaining their players.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFYwueh05mM nbk

    If the NBA were to add a round to the draft they would either have to take off their age restriction (mainly so they can get young professional european players on their radar sooner) or allow guys that get drafted in the 3rd round the option of turning down the pick and returning to where they were before, like baseball players have the opportunity to do. Basically the NCAA would have to be part of the discussion when adding another round to the draft.

  • http://therurbangriot.com The NUPE

    I’m likely one of the few people that agrees with having an age minimum for the NBA. I think 18, regardless of the # of years a potential player is out of highschool is fair. I would argue too much risk on the part of the team to have to ‘babysit’ a 17 year old throughout the season. I think in Tennis, Gymnastics, Ice Skating, X-game sports and other ‘professional’ athletes who compete as teenagers are in a different scenario as it’s typically their parents or guardian who has responsibility for them and make an event to event decision.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    MLB guys get drafted as young as 16.

  • LA Huey

    @bike, Curry was drafted in 2001 and the Knicks traded for him in ’05. So the Knicks had the same time to evaluate him as they could a college junior and determine whether he was the albatross his contract later became know to be.

  • http://therurbangriot.com The NUPE

    If NBA teams could ‘draft’ or claim rights to anybody 18 or over (regardless if the declare for the draft or not) would be interesting. So players like Barnes or Sully who could have declared this year but didn’t could still have their rights ‘owned’ by a team that picked them. Also, being drafted should not mean that you are guranteed spot on the team. This could allow a team to draft a player and ‘request’ that they stay in college an extra year – or not. This would also make a draft much deeper where virtually any player can be drafted and 3 rounds of talent could be worthwhile. Obviously this is not simple if a euro-team drafts the same players ‘rights’, but would allow a team to draft someone straight out of HS even if they won’t play in the NBA for at least a year. Possibilites and draft complexity would really increase.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Pretty much what I’m saying they would have to do to institute a 3rd round, they wouldn’t be able to enact those rules on the first 2 rounds though – Larry Bird is the reason for that. Boston drafted him a full year before his rookie year. Something like that would spiral down to LeBron being drafted when he was 14, OJ Mayo would have been picked when he was like 9. lol. But for a 3rd rounder, the team only retains rights to that player for a calender year, and then the next year they are up to be drafted again if they never made any kind of professional commitment. This IMO would work because these guys would not be benefiting from the process of becoming a professional, they would not have a “draft combine” and they wouldn’t need agents. They would also retain their writes to compete collegiately while getting a more firm grasp on their prospects as a pro. — I think that would also cut down on players that shouldn’t be leaving college early to enter the draft.

  • LA Huey

    ^Larry Bird had some significant rules changed for him that nothing to do with the actual game of basketball. Haha.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Right. But 2 pretty damn significant rules

  • RunNGun

    Third round? Isn’t this what the D-LEAGUE is for?

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