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Adam Silver: Sixers’ ‘Process’ inspired league to change Lottery rules

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has conceded that the Philadelphia 76ers’ implementation of the “Process” served as the impetus for the league to examine and make changes to the Draft Lottery rules.

Under the guidance of former general manager Sam Hinkie, “Trust the Process” was an organizational philosophy which was predicated on essentially accepting short-term losses for long-term gains. In other words, tanking, although that word of course was never used.

Silver admitted last week that tanking presents “an incredibly difficult issue. He then stressed — while conceding the NBA has “some work to do” on the tanking issue — that the league has instituted new policies in the way of lottery reform that will go into effect for the 2019 NBA Draft.

It would seem the 76ers can be thanked in large part for those new rules, according to what Silver had to say Friday on ESPN’s “Get Up.”

“As a response to the strategy that the 76ers undertook we changed the Draft Lottery,” Silver said, as transcribed by Dime Mag. “It’s a bit bedeviling. It’ll be the sixth time in roughly the last 35 years that we’ve changed the odds of the Draft Lottery. And roughly 35 years ago the league put in place a draft lottery precisely to deal with this strategy.”

Silver also bemoaned how tanking has been taken to the “next level” by teams in recent years.

“Now it’s being celebrated. So I am worried that, even with the change coming next year, it won’t do enough,” Silver said. “And a lot of teams are conflicted as well because they’ll be trying their best to win games and even their fans, even the media in their market will say ‘what are you doing?’”

Silver and league obviously want to eliminate tanking. But even Silver himself admitted last week that there “can only be so much cajoling out of the league office” to force teams not to do it. Either way, trusting the “Process” clearly worked for the Sixers and it makes sense why other teams would try to emulate the approach.