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"Losers" NBA tournament every year alongside playoffs for draft seed?

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    The NBA has a problem in that there are few top tier talented players and so teams are incentivized to tank. And then you have a random lottery with odds.

    Why not have a "losers" bracket? The games can air earlier in the day or evening before playoff games. And there is a LOT to play for as fans and players know how much getting a top draft pick can mean for their team.

    The worst 4 teams in the east play the worst 4 teams in the west in a mini tournament playing to win seeds #1 to #8. Teams with the worse record get home court advantage. It could be like the #1 worst team hosts the #4 worst team for a 3 game series all on the worst team's court (or a 3 -2 split if 5 games). Or it could be a round robin style where you have 14 total games where each team plays every other team home and away.

    This way the lowly team that really tanks and reeks so bad gets punished for letting things get so bad because they can't beat any of the other losers.

    They could rotate this between cities if they do a round-robin like in Vegas and fans of their team could vacation there, LOVE the fact they can attend a game for their team that actually finally means something and then afterwards go watch playoff games in a sports bar.

    Genius I say! Genius!

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    And if your priority and only concern is to help the worst teams and be more like controlled lottery odds percentages, you could create a system where a round robin tournament also has built in "odds" such as spotting the worse team some points to start.

    There could be some creativity involved in making it harder for the 8th worst team from winning a top draft pick such as the two worst teams get a first round bye with a 6 team tournament instead of 8.

    Or, maybe you just do the worst 8 teams overall and not make it west vs east as that will probably exasperate the west vs east divide.

    Or, you could have the worst four teams play for picks 1-4 and the next worst four teams play for picks 5-8. But I just don't think there is as much excitement watching if you're only playing to move up 3 slots. It's a lot more intense if you know you could win the #1 pick or end up losing big with #8.

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    I thought a good deal about this actually when I was the admin for a fantasy football league, as there are parallels. You don't want the people who have no chance at the end of the season to tank and start dropping players or making dumb moves because they don't care anymore, there's no incentive to win anything and last place gets to pick first in next year's draft. You don't wanna encourage tanking.

    So I came up with a loser's bracket, just exactly like you originally outlined. It made the last few weeks more exciting for everyone, not just half of us with playoff hopes. I think the NBA should try to do something similar.

    Maybe a loser's bracket gets you more lottery tickets but they do the lottery the same way. So there is still 'luck' involved, but you can greatly increase your chances at a #1 pick by winning the loser tournament. And in that way the league can tweak the amount of tickets you can win based on trial and error over a few years of tinkering.