May 19, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; NBA commissioner David Stern talks with entertainer Billy Crystal before the start of game three of the Western Conference semi finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs between the Los Angeles Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs at the Staples Center. San Antonio Spurs won 96-86. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE

Is The NBA Draft Fixed?


Well, I’m sure we all heard Jim Rome’s not-so-friendly interview with David Stern and it tends to generate the question – Is the NBA Draft fixed?

In 1985, the lottery was made to keep teams from tanking to get the first pick in the draft and for the most part it works. Very rarely does the worst team get the top pick in the draft, just ask the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Denver Nuggets finished with the worst record in 1997-98 and 2002-03 and both years they were rewarded with the third pick in the draft. In 1998, they drafted Raef LaFrentz and in 2003 they drafted fan favorite Carmelo Anthony.

Where things get tricky is when an NBA-owned team like the New Orleans Hornets wins the NBA Lottery. Of course the Hornets weren’t a good team last year, tied for the third worst record in the NBA (fourth due to a tiebreaker), but conspiracy theorists will always go back to last offseason when the NBA overstepped its boundaries and rejected the Chris Paul-trade.

Back in December, a three-way trade was agreed upon between the Los Angeles Lakers, Hornets and Houston Rockets. On paper, it was a solid trade for each team. The Lakers would get Paul and give up All-Star big man Pau Gasol to the Rockets  and the Hornets would get a solid nucleus of Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Lamar Odom and Goran Dragic.

However, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert (probably still heated after LeBron James left town for Miami) demanded that Stern put the trade up for a vote with all 29 owners and the trade was nixed.

The Hornets had to settle for a trade that sent Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers for the trio of Eric Gordon, Al Farouq Aminu and Chris Kaman. And at the end of the day the only winner was the Clippers.

It’s moves like that which have NBA fans questioning the commissioner and the validity of the NBA. Of course, it could have been worst the Hornets could have landed in the top three with their other lottery pick (Minnesota’s pick which they also got in the Paul trade). But instead they are drafting 10th.

Even if the draft was fixed to help the Hornets get Anthony Davis, is he really going to help New Orleans out that much? The Hornets struggles were on the offensive side of the ball and Davis is not the answer to their offensive woes.

Tags: Al-Farouq Aminu Anthony Davis Carmelo Anthony Charlotte Bobcats Chris Kaman Chris Paul Cleveland Cavaliers Dan Gilbert David Stern Denver Nuggets Eric Gordon Goran Dragic Houston Rockets Jim Rome Kevin Martin Lamar Odom LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers Luis Scola NBA Draft New Orleans Hornets Pau Gasol Raef Lafrentz