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Making Losing Less Attractive

With less than a month to go, the curtain is about the fall for the 17/18 NBA Regular Season. In contrast to former years, the interesting battles are not so much found at the top of the standings, but more so on the bottom. The National Basketball Association is a league in which every year, the inflow of new players from colleges and outside the US is determined by a draft. The worst fourteen teams in the NBA take part in the draft lottery, with the worst team having the highest odds to get the first pick in the draft, and the fourteenth worst team having the worst odds to get a high pick; the worst teams have the best shot at jumpstarting their team, by picking a new player first. However, this has incentivised losing over the years, with this year being the best example for that: no less than eight teams are currently trying to lose as much games as possible. Why? Because this is the last year of the current draft lottery system, with the new one being less top heavy, and the lottery odds being more levelled after this season. With this measure, the NBA is hoping to disincentivise losing. (source)

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