Adam Silver said the league is monitoring potential tanking this season and just might implement something drastic to make it stop.
“We put teams on notice,” Silver said Wednesday, sources told ESPN’s Baxter Holmes. “We’re going to be paying particular attention to the issue (of tanking) this year.”
The NBA commissioner said the league office has considered a potential relegation system where the NBA would demote the worst one or two teams to the G League at the end of the season. This system is already done in European soccer.
However, Silver said such a practice would be “destabilizing” to the league.
“It would so disrupt our business model,” he said. “And even if you took two teams up from the G League, they wouldn’t be equipped to compete in the NBA.”
With so much attention being paid to Victor Wembanyama and the top of the 2023 NBA draft, the NBA wants to make sure these teams are not going out every night with the purpose of trying to secure as many draft ping pong balls to better help their chances.
After Wembanyama’s performance in two exhibition games against fellow top prospect Scoot Henderson this month, it was immediately assumed by analysts and fans that non-contending teams wuld be going full tank mode.
“I know that many of our NBA teams are salivating at the notion that potentially through our lottery, they can get him, so they should all still compete very hard next season,” he said.
The concept of tanking is nothing new in the NBA and examples of that can be seen every season.