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Fact or Fiction: The draft lottery is rigged

wrector
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Fact or Fiction: The draft lottery is rigged

I keep seeing comments about the lottery being rigged on the forum today, so I want to know what is everyone's take on it?

Personally, I think there are some obvious and viable conspiracy theories.

The past three years:

2011: Cleveland wins the lottery after losing LeBron the year prior.
2012: New Orleans wins the lottery after losing CP3, also Tom Benson purchased the team from the NBA.
2013: This may not be widely known but the company that audits the draft, Ernst & Young, had a building erected in downtown Cleveland that was completed this summer. It wouldn't be all that far-fetched to think they may have received some kind of kick backs from the city or maybe even Dan Gilbert. Is it possible that a thriving basketball team could stimulate Cleveland's economy and provide Ernst & Young with some positive advantages? Needless to say, they got some prime real estate with the placement of their building. A completely undeterred view of Lake Erie.

I'm torn as to whether or not I believe in this stuff. The 1st pick could have just as easily went to Orlando this year since they lost Dwight Howard. I'm sure you could come up with valid reasons for several teams each year as to why it would be plausible for them to receive a helping hand.

What do you guys think? I'd be interested to hear everyone's conspiracy theories.


theprophet
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i'm a conspiracy theorist.

i'm a conspiracy theorist. the draft is rigged! but only sometimes, there are some cases where there isn't enough motive to rig it. the lebron draft was rigged. i'm not sure what team's story line would make the best case for a conspiracy this year. some interesting prospect teams could be the 76ers (bynum situation), magic (howard situation), lakers (howard situation and they have a tv contract with no future players). these teams are all big markets to, so that would make sense from a financial perspective. maybe conspiracy was a david stern thing, i don't know. but for some reason, i doubt the bucks get andrew wiggins with the first pick if they are a bottom feeder team.

wrector
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What if there was a trade

What if there was a trade involving the Lakers and another team, that was highly in the Laker's favor so that they could make their televised games draw more viewers? Then the team that got the shaft wound up with the 1st pick of this draft. That team would have to trade a franchise piece and land outside the playoffs...what teams are looking to tank that have a quality talent they'd be willing to part with? Boston and Rondo? Portland and LaMarcus Aldridge? Sacramento and Cousins?

Hypothetically speaking of course, I don't think this would ever happen lol

theprophet
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i get what you're saying, and

i get what you're saying, and it's possible. i doubt it would happen to, but anything is possible. i mean chris paul is in a clippers uniform via vetoed trade! i like your hypothetical conspiracy here, good point!

the I in win
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I intensely hate the fact

I intensely hate the fact that they don't show the ping pong balls anymore, we literally have to take the word of the commissioner and his favorite outsourced accounting firm Ernst & Young. Simply let me see the balls bounce around and prove it is truly random.

bloodshy
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Completely agree.

I don't think there is a conspiracy... but show us the damn balls so we don't have to speculate when weird coincidences happen!

Memphis Madness
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A RIGGED draft this year

A RIGGED draft this year would give the Lakers or Celtics the first pick.

Somewhat fixed? Wiggins to Philly. A major market team with a great history gets the best player in the draft and
a world class athlete in Andrew Wiggins. The NBA might hope that Wiggins is the next Dr. J. The Hawks get Jabari Parker to help
bolster the largest media market in the South. Plus, Parker would fit in well with the rest of the team. Then give
the Celtics the third pick so they can get Julius Randle to complete a nice front line for Rajon Rondo to play with. Jeff Green, Randle, and Olynyk
would be a nice front line. Boston is a legendary team who unlike the Lakers has a hard time attracting the big free agents.

theprophet
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i guess of the small market

i guess of the small market teams, the raptors could be a conspiracy if wiggins was campaigning to play in canada.

Tyrober
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Every year you can come up

Every year you can come up with a few teams that conspiracy theorists will go crazy over and scream the lottery is rigged. If the Lakers miss the playoffs this year and end up winning it then you conspiracy guys will have my attention, but the lottery is not rigged.

phila9012
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I agree, there are always 4

I agree, there are always 4 or 5 teams you could make a case for it to be rigged for each year, so it is not rigged. I think the NBA should do something about it because fans think it is rigged, it is just bad PR each year because people think it is rigged, they should remove all the doubt about it even though they dont rig it, it is stupid for the NBA to allow so many people to think it is rigged.

bloodshy
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I think it's unlikely.

Admittedly, there are some very coincidental (and compelling) story lines that are used to support the conspiracy idea. However, at the end of the day I think there's simply too much at risk to actually rig it.

My first thought is that if it is rigged, the auditors would have to be involved. There's no way they would sign off on the program if there was a reasonable chance that cheating could go undetected. I've worked w/many auditors--this sort of cheating would absolutely be detected. Earnst & Young is a huge firm (one of the "Big 4" accounting firms). They're a multi-billion dollar organization. In that industry, once you lose your good name, your firm is literally ruined. If you doubt this, look up Arthur Anderson. There used to be a "Big 5" group of accounting firms. However, a small part of Arthur Anderson's business was with Enron and they got dirty. The entire firm had to close its doors as a result. I don't think Earnst and Young would take that type of a risk for the potential rewards they might be offered to cheat and allow a rigged lottery.

My point is that I see a lot of reasons to believe in a conspiracy. However, I think those potentially unlikely coincidences are much more likely than the idea that a group of people from one of the world's top accounting firms, as well as several top NBA executives, would put their credibility and future careers at stake just to hook Cleveland up with the #1 as payback for losing Lebron. That just doesn't make sense to me.

the I in win
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My uncle worked for Arthur

My uncle worked for Arthur Anderson and quit about six months before Enron exploded on everybody. Before I finished reading your post I saw your mention of a big 4 firm wouldn't do something this risky and was going to say it used to be the big 5.

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I think your right

That would be a very risky move for a big 4 accounting firm. But, for the sake of the conversation how would they get caught? I would be surprised if they make a video recording of the balls, so that argument would be hard to prove . Only a few individuals would be aware of any such agreement(which would never be in any form of writing, to prevent the chance of tracing), and those individuals most likely would be in positions that wouldn't "blow the whistle". In my opinion it wouldn't be to far fetched that there was a hidden agenda in the ways the balls "bounced".
It is a very interesting situation and this is the first time I have heard about it and I am very intrigued.

I know this isn't a Accounting/Business forum, but I would really be interested to see what anybody had to say, add or argue.

LA12
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I get how people could think

I get how people could think it's rigged, but I just don't think it is. The one thing that annoys me the most is every year when some one comes up with the "It's rigged so Charlotte doesn't win because bla bla bla". Even if Charlotte has the worst record in a given year, the odds are still MAJORLY against them winning the lottery. They only have a 25% chance at the first pick. So can we just give up the whole "Charlotte is going to win the lottery" thing? It's almost non existent on this site, but everywhere else I see it so much it just annoys me at some point. Not just with Charlotte, but for any team that has the worst record in a given year.

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There are a few teams each

There are a few teams each year that if they won conspiracy theorists would yell RIGGED! Go back to 2012, for example: New Orleans, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Sacramento all would've been suspicious.

It's unfortunate they don't show they ping-pong balls though, which leaves a lot up in the air even if most of it involves too much for the NBA to lose to actually pull off.

But, if it's rigged then why watch? If you want scripted results, the WWE is perfect for that.

Mikez
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they showed the ping pong

they showed the ping pong balls this previous year, i cant find the video atm but ill link it if i do.

Lipstick
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That'd be awesome.

That'd be awesome, thanks.

Chewy
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Only in certain years

Lebron's year- Rigged to get him to stay home
Rose's Year- Same
Shaq- Rigged
Ewing- Keep the New York Market buzzing
Duncan- NOT rigged, both Boston and SA tanked that year and did it in embarissing fashion

Maybe some more, but these were the years that stood out in my memory.

I think most years it is not rigged, like this year when there was no "Superstar." Even the Oden/Durant draft I think was legit.

GottaBeTheShoes
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That was the worst argument

That was the worst argument for it I've ever read. You just pointed out years where it was a possibility and denied the ones where you couldn't create a conspiracy. The Duncan one isn't a conspiracy because boston and SA tanked? That doesn't increase your chances outside of the chance that is given based on where your record lands you.

Chewy
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Why does it have to be all or nothing?

Is it really not possible for Stern to say, "Hey there is no superstar who I need to strategically place in order to make more money off my entertainment buisness, so I'll play this year straight up."

Why are the only two options either A) every draft is rigged or B) no draft is rigged. I think both are highly unlikely.

I'm from Chicago and I find the fact that we got the number one pick, (with a whopping 1.9% chance!) in the year that a home grown star was going to enter, pretty freaking shady.

On the other hand, what possible motivation could their be for Stern to risk a scandal by rigging the draft for Bogut. He's not going to rake in the marketing money, so what would be the point of cheating for that draft?

There are reasons TO RIG (make marketing money) a draft and there are reasons TO NOT RIG (wouldn't gain more marketing money) a draft. Why is it so hard to believe that Stern makes ethical decisions based on expected monetary outcome?

GottaBeTheShoes
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I don't disagree that it

I don't disagree that it could be rigged some years and some years not (though I don't think it's rigged at all), I just think it's silly to throw in arguments where it would make sense while there are some years (with superstar players) where you can't create a real conspiracy. Which makes me believe it's just a coincidence. Yes Chicago got Rose and Cleveland got Lebron, Cleveland though had a realistic shot while Chicago had a much lesser shot. I think if you throw out Lebron going to Cleveland (because they had one of the best shots at getting him), and just have that the Bulls won with an unrealistic chance (to me, probably the most sketchy year), then I believe it's just a coincidence, and there are many years where they had a prime chance to rig it for a big market team but didn't.
I think we'll truly find out this year, given that the Lakers and Celtics are looking to be bad and somewhere in the 7-14 range.

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I think no. As stated above

I think no.
As stated above the big accounting firm has too much to lose. The amount of money E&Y makes per year makes the NBAs revenue not enough to make fixing this a winning proposition.

Humans look for patterns and then create reasons for patterns. This helps us understand not to eat the poison berries. But in a complex worldwide world results in us seeing patterns that are just the result of chance. Chance ends up doing funny stuff from time to time.

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If there was a conspiracy as

If there was a conspiracy as regards D-Rose going to Chicago, I'd point out that thw Knicks who are one of the biggest teams revenuewise never got a lottery pick in 2008 or 2009 and Boston did not come up anywhere in the Oden, Durant stakes.

But I've always said televise it, imagine the crowds gathered in each city and the execs faces next year seeing who lands a shot at getting Wiggins, Parker and some of Coach Cal's crew etc.

I don't know how long the actual off camera process would take but surely it could be televised almost like a huge lottery/bingo game. Throw a couple of commercials in and it could work I think.

rileymcshea3
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Who wouldn't love to see the

Who wouldn't love to see the ball actually being picked right on stage in front of everyone? Now that's what I want to see

LaParaMundial6
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whom has won with the lowest

whom has won with the lowest possibility ?

mikeyvthedon
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Top 5 Lowest Percentages

1. Orlando, 1993: 1.52% (Drafted C-Webb, traded him for Penny. 2nd #1 pick in a row, with Shaq being drafted the year before. Made a Finals, got swept. Was still fun while it lasted.)

2. Chicago, 2008: 1.7% (Derrick Rose is from Chicago. CONSPIRACY!!!!!)

3. Cleveland, 2011: 2.8% (The LA Clippers actually won this one. The smarty pantses traded overpaid Baron Davis and their first pick for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon. Cleveland lost LeBron James the year before, so this OBVIOUS conspiracy landed them Kyrie Irving. There actual pick did not crack the lottery selected top 3, they took Tristan Thompson at 4)

4. New Jersey, 2000: 4.4% (The 2000 Draft had Kenyon Martin as the bonafide top pick. Not terrible, not great. They made a couple Finals, more due to Jason Kidd as opposed to K-Mart.)

5. Portland, 2007: 5.3% (They got that nice little conundrum of taking the potential franchise changing big man or the incredible scoring wing. Much like when they drafted 2nd in 1984, they went big. What gets left out is that just about EVERY other franchise would have done the same. Including the team that drafted 2nd who were lucky enough to end up with Kevin Durant. Greg Oden looked like a prize, unfortunate circumstances have him now trying to get back onto the court for the league minimum)

For my thoughts on conspiracy theories of the lottery, read my post below.

mikeyvthedon
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Frozen envelope theory

Remember that? The theory of the first ever draft lottery, that supposedly David Stern had the Knicks envelope put in the freezer. All 7 teams (remember, back than there were only 23 teams) had a 14.29% chance of winning the lottery. The theory was that the (evil, according to most posters) commissioner wanted his hometown New York Knicks to draft a center thought to be a Bill Russell level dynasty maker, Patrick Ewing. Further more, if said conspiracy were real, clearly it had to be behind closed doors. Well, think again:

Now, don't you see the lottery being fixed from this evidence?

Well, I don't. Come on. You can make a story about anything. Nobody wanted the pick this season, just about all of our jaws dropped when we saw who the Cavs chose. In 2012 and 2011, the teams losing their major stars both also sucked. Plus were not in exactly huge markets. Want to know the last time the Celtics and Lakers got the first pick in the draft? Before the lottery existed! Think the coin flip were rigged back than as well?

I was going to make a post about how the lottery rigging was ridiculous, think I probably will now. Chicago won, people still upset about that one (I guess, I personally didn't care and thought it was fine). Cleveland got LeBron. That was nice for a while. Tell me about all the championships the teams that drafted first have won since 1998?

If it were rigged, as someone mentioned earlier, Tim Duncan absolutely would have gone to Boston. The NBA probably hates the fact that San Antonio, the smallest of the three Texas markets, does as well. People who use that one as a "conspiracy" have to be kidding. It was an incredible stroke of luck by a team that at the time were pretty much a one man show, not to mention their 2nd best player was a shadow of himself and hurt half the year.

Could go on, will stop for now, just saying that those who get ticked off about the lottery realize that it is not even close to the cause of tanking. Tanking would be much more prevalent if there was not a lottery and it just went by record. Than teams would literally try to lose every game to get an Anthony Davis or Andrew Wiggins. I would love to see the lottery live as well, but we did in 1985 and people still think it was a conspiracy. My guess is the same freaking thing would happen now even if we saw it live. Only 1 team out of 14 can get the first pick. To me, the NBA could have rigged it a lot more towards it large markets teams than they have. People just can make these connections over everything. Liked this at the time, makes a strong point:

http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/05/21/why-theres-a-100-percent-chance-the-nba-lottery-is-fixed/

ph90702
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Just have the lottery out in

Just have the lottery out in the open. Problem solved.

Steven1562
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Will be worse

Would be worse if this year the Raptors finish 9th and have %0.5 chance to win the lottery .... Wiggins goes to Canada ... rigged draft lottery theorists would lose there minds lol

Meditated States
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Show the ping pongs

Every year. If not is seems rigged at times. We should always see the ping pong ceremony.

Mkadoza
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I only wanna know... how many

I only wanna know... how many teams have won a championship after securing the top pick within 5 years? San Antonio? Anyone else? Hakeem got Houston one in his 10th year. It just seems like a lot of obsession over what happens to be a crap shoot anyway.

TallmanNYC
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Total crap shoot. Basically

Total crap shoot. Basically only one or two players are can't miss stars in any draft. Sometimes there are none. And the can't miss stars come out after one year of college when they are usually to young to be dominate. Then you get them for three years at a cheap salary. They usually aren't fantastic their first year. They get it together their second year and then for one year you get an All Star level player for $6 million. That is great. But after that you have to give them a max contract and then you are basically in about the same position as all the other teams who sign free agents for max contracts.

It is very hard to rebuild through the draft. Even San Antonio didn't just do it through the Duncan pick. It required them having fantastic late round picks in Ginobli and Parker not to mention others.

druneave3
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Cleveland

Prime real estate, in Cleveland? If you believe there is such a thing you probably also believe the lottery is rigged, we never landed on the moon, and 911 was an inside job.

In the immortal words of Joakim Noah, "Cleveland really sucks."

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I don't think it is 100%

I don't think it is 100% rigged but I also don't think the lottery odds are as advertised. For instance, if a team has a 19.9% chance to win it but there's an incentive for the league if that team wins the lottery, somehow the odds are moved around to, say, 30%.

Now people are going to say, "Well, there are dozens of individuals, including journalists, in the room while the ping-pong balls are drawn out. Right?
- Well, just because there are people watching does not mean they can solve the mathematical equations as well as illusions. Think about a magic trick, we can sit in the front row and watch a magician for hours yet we still cannot comprehend how it is he pulls these tricky illusions.

The draft lottery uses a set of algorithms, geometric biases, and advanced physics. For example, if some balls are moved to a certain side of the box and the air in the tank is set to a certain speed, it is less likely the balls from a certain angle pop up as often as the others. Also, some of the balls may be heavier than others, thus changing the odds that those balls pop up to the top of the tank. There could also be very weak magnets that do not allow some of the balls to fly around as well as the other balls. Even something simple as the way the balls are organized to begin with can skew the percentages, even if it is by 2 or 3%.

I'm not saying these are exactly the ways but there are many different possibilities that the draft lottery can be skewed. Many dealing with illusions and algorithms so that it seems as if chance has dealt a certain team a high pick.

Again, I don't believe a team has a 100% chance at winning but I do believe algorithms, geometric figures, and physics can add 5-15% to a teams odds at winning it.

frogman
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And I believe you are a moron

And I believe you are a moron for believing this.

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It's fun to make jokes, but

It's fun to make jokes, but in all reality it's probably not. The Celtics were really bad during various times in the 90's and never landed the #1 pick. Same thing with the Knicks in the early to mid 2000's, those are two of the most historic ( Good for the NBA if they are good ) teams and get this...

In 2003, with Lebron and Carmelo looking like two sure fire stars who can sell out arenas, sell jerseys and improve a team they give it to....Cleveland? Sure, it's Lebron's home town team, but that same year the Knicks and Bulls had lottery picks. It would have been waaay better for the NBA if Lebron went to New York or Chicago, but he's off to the rust belt because the lottery is rigged? I'm not buying it.

Maybe it was in 1985, I could even entertain the NBA patting it's own back giving the Hornets Anthony Davis, but the Cavs landing 3 top picks in 10 years makes no sense if the NBA is trying to rig the lottery. When the Lakers looked like they were going down the toilet and had a lottery pick in 2005 they got the 10th pick...granted, they hit a home run by picking Bynum, but if the NBA was going trying to fix it they'd try to get LA a better pick.

Ang Puti Lalaki
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Lake

seen too many Laker games to not think the nba is rigged!~

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