With reform possibly on the way for the NBA draft lottery, the Philadelphia 76ers are prepared to put up a fight.
According to ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst, the Sixers are resistant to a new lottery system that would lessen the odds of the league's worst team earning the first overall pick.
Grantland's Zach Lowe first reported on July 16 that the new lottery proposal would give at least the four worst teams in the league an equal chance of winning the first pick at 11 percent. The current lottery system gives the worst team a 25 percent chance, the second-worst team a 19.9 percent chance, the third-worst team a 15.6 percent chance, and the odds continue to decline after that.
When should the NBA implement draft lottery reform?
Also, the lottery team with the best record would have a 2 percent chance of landing the first pick under the proposed system rather than the current 0.5 percent chance. That would essentially close the gap between the best and worst lottery teams from 24.5 percent to just 9 percent.
While much of the league is likely to support the proposal since it levels the playing field, the basement teams probably won't feel the same way. Accumulating high lottery picks is the best way for struggling franchises to rebound, but the new system would put that in jeopardy.
The Sixers are a youthful team that figures to struggle once again in 2014-15 after being the second-worst team in the league last year at 19-63. They do have a stable of up-and-coming talent, including Michael Carter-Williams, Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel, but they may not be able to add more elite talent to that group if the lottery is changed.
Philadelphia's plan is clearly to build through the draft, which is why Brett Pollakoff of NBCSports.com believes the Sixers have a legitimate gripe when it comes to the idea of enacting lottery change so quickly:
Sixers have every right to want draft lottery changes delayed. Like it or not, they put a multi-year plan together based on current rules.— Brett Pollakoff (@BrettEP) July 30, 2014
The Sixers actually dropped one spot and picked third in the 2014 draft. Also, the Cleveland Cavaliers picked first despite having only a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery. That would seem to suggest that the current lottery is already random enough.
Regardless of that, it will be interesting to see how the league progresses. Lottery reform at some point appears inevitable, but the time frame of when it will be implemented is very much in question.
The Sixers and other teams are already banking on a high pick in the 2015 draft, so don't be surprised if this proposal continues to be a hot topic.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter