General NRL Blueprint For The Future

Where should the next NRL team come from?

  • Sydney

  • Perth

  • Brisbane

  • Adelaide

  • NZ

  • PNG


Results are only viewable after voting.
I think you need to listen closely to our own club on the importance of crowd numbers. They talk about it ad nauseam as a key financial driver in their profitability or otherwise. No offence, but I'm staggered you believe crowd numbers are of such little financial relevance.

Getting the best rookie does not guarantee success. Have the US models taught you nothing? There are so many high profile picks who don't make a long career, and then the team's that traded and tanked to get them plunge even further. It's no guarantee yet American teams with far better financial backing still Chase it occasionally to the point of oblivion. To think it is a system that provides inequity is ridiculous based on simple, long proven history.

As for Smith, again not a good example. He wasn't that highly rated as a junior. If I recall correctly he was a halfback. Remember Greg Waddell and Karl Filiga? Yeah those guys probably would have gone number one of two in their respective years.

The Raiders signed Elliott Whitehead, and Aidan Sezer. Frankly they upgraded well and have a competitive squad. You could argue as one of the dominant NYC teams they would have naturally have picked up a number of high profile picks over the past 5 years. It hasn't done them much good. Given the Warriors are in the same camp, it's not which juniors they get access to that cause their incompetent performances.

Seriously, it is without doubt the single biggest cancer on the game this talk of a draft. It is simply implausible on how it will do anything but make certain clubs rancidly sick. History in the US systematically has proven this over and over and the NRL simply does not have the junior talent population or college development pathways to try to imitate that system to any sort of degree.
Ask any professional sports CEO - gate takings comprise less than 10% of total income. Ask Jim Doyle and he will explain it I'm sure. Where it is relevant is crowd to overheads - hosting a game at Mt Smart sees much smaller overhead costs compared to Eden Park. The same crowd number at one venue might be break even but a significant loss at the other. The other reason why crowd numbers are important is they are a variable. It is pretty easy to figure out exactly what other income there will be for a club in a given season because most revenue streams are fairly constant - sponsorship $$, media rights etc. We are still only talking a 2.5% swing either way - which is not to be sneezed at but not a complete game changer either.
I never said getting the best rookie guarantees success but it certainly helps in most cases. For every flop you name I'm sure you could find three or four players that worked out just fine - look at the recent NBA number one picks - Anthony Bennett may have been a flop but Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Derrick Rose, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin all helped turn their respective franchises around. Heck Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns look set to do that with the Timberwolves now too. If the system didn't work do you really think the biggest sporting comps on the planet would bother sticking with it??
The Smith, Price examples are talking about the finished product. Insert whatever names you want in there - you get my point. Try Daly Cherry-Evans, SBW, heck Shaun Johnson had a huge amount of hype about him as an NYC player.
NO I can't argue that the successful NYC teams would have produced high profile NRL picks. That is the problem with the NYC - it promotes a whole lot of kids that aren't ready for first grade. A system where only a select few get picked up, many via longer stints developing or having played senior club footy (outside of the NRL with local clubs or in this platinum league) will deliver first-grade ready players.
The 16 NRL clubs obviously agree with this proposal otherwise we would have heard about their concerns before it even was released to the public let alone in the week or so since.
 

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
That's the nature of the beast. Players can behave like that now because they are allowed to - if you bring in a draft with the rules proposed - all rookie deals are for two years no exceptions problem solved. They can either play in the NRL or not. Players will quickly adapt to it being the norm. It happens in many industries. Try buying a Supermarket in NZ. You start with a Four Square in some shit-hole town where there is an opening. You do your apprenticeship and move up to something better. In some cases the little shit hole town grows and becomes a desirable place or the shit-hole town grows on you and you decide you want to stay.
i dont really know much about drafts, except it is a massive talking point here every year, and that no one is ever happy with it, unless their team gets the player they were after of course. So my question is what happens if there is a draft and a young player from NZ is sent to Perth (say) and after 6 months is a mess and just walks out. The club is out a player, but because of the draft how does this affect the team? With a NYC comp i get that you just pull another player out of your NYC team and go on as usual, but what happens now?
 
Population - not a fair comparison. By sheer weight of numbers that competition can succeed. Much like traditionally crap MLB teams still attract crowds in the US even if it is to watch their opponents. NRL does not have that luxury.

Yes, see my post re the opposite possibility of limiting cities to the number of teams based upon population.
 
Ask any professional sports CEO - gate takings comprise less than 10% of total income. Ask Jim Doyle and he will explain it I'm sure. Where it is relevant is crowd to overheads - hosting a game at Mt Smart sees much smaller overhead costs compared to Eden Park. The same crowd number at one venue might be break even but a significant loss at the other. The other reason why crowd numbers are important is they are a variable. It is pretty easy to figure out exactly what other income there will be for a club in a given season because most revenue streams are fairly constant - sponsorship $$, media rights etc. We are still only talking a 2.5% swing either way - which is not to be sneezed at but not a complete game changer either.
I never said getting the best rookie guarantees success but it certainly helps in most cases. For every flop you name I'm sure you could find three or four players that worked out just fine - look at the recent NBA number one picks - Anthony Bennett may have been a flop but Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Derrick Rose, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin all helped turn their respective franchises around. Heck Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns look set to do that with the Timberwolves now too. If the system didn't work do you really think the biggest sporting comps on the planet would bother sticking with it??
The Smith, Price examples are talking about the finished product. Insert whatever names you want in there - you get my point. Try Daly Cherry-Evans, SBW, heck Shaun Johnson had a huge amount of hype about him as an NYC player.
NO I can't argue that the successful NYC teams would have produced high profile NRL picks. That is the problem with the NYC - it promotes a whole lot of kids that aren't ready for first grade. A system where only a select few get picked up, many via longer stints developing or having played senior club footy (outside of the NRL with local clubs or in this platinum league) will deliver first-grade ready players.
The 16 NRL clubs obviously agree with this proposal otherwise we would have heard about their concerns before it even was released to the public let alone in the week or so since.

Firstly, the bolded part, there has been a lot of talk here in Sydney that clubs are beside themselves with the content of the blueprint. Shane Richardson himself has had to go on record to backtrack a bit by claiming its just a discussion piece and is glad he's copping the criticism as that was the intention of it.

Your point about the draft, lets look at 2000-2010 at top 5 picks.
2000-Kenyon Miles, Stromile Swift, Darius Miles, Marcus Fizer, Mike Miller - not a single star or game changer there
2001-Kwame Brown, Tyson Chandler, Pau Gasol, Eddy Curry, Jason Richardson - Chandler has had about 2 good seasons, Gasol is good, the others are horrible
2002-Yao Ming, Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy, Drew Gooden, Nikolaz Tskhitishivli - Yao Ming aside, none of them turned clubs around
2003-LBJ, Darko Milicic, Melo, Bosh, Wade - 4 great players here, 1 flop
2004-Dwight Howard, Emeka Okafor, Ben Gordon, Shaun Livingston, Devin Harris - Dwight Howard aside, thats a pretty ordinary lot isn't it
2005-Andrew Bogut, Marvin Williams, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Raymond Felton - CP3 easily dominates here, Bogut is a handy role player, Williams had 2-3 good seasons
2006-Andrea Bargnani, LeMarcus Aldridge, Adam Morrison, Tyrus Thomas, Shelden Williams - Aldridge is a very good player, not elite I would say though. The rest, horrid
2007-Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Mike Conley Jr, Jeff Green - Durant is outstanding, Horford is good, Conley decent
2008-Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, OJ Mayo, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love - Rose, Westbrook and Love are outstanding, the other two are serviceable journeyman
2009-Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio - Griffin and Harden are outstanding, Evans is a decent journeyman, Rubio is a good passer but limited elsewhere
2010- John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, Wesley Johnson, DeMarcus Cousins - Wall is a very good point guard, Cousins is a troubled by very fine centre, the rest are journeymen at best

So there you have it. The draft is not the be all and end all that some think it is to distribute talent. Off the top of my head, Miller (as a role player), Gasol, LBJ (but not with his original club), Wade, Bosh (but not with his original club), Bogut (as a 3rd or 4th best player in his team) have won an NBA championship. The rest have not. If we go by #1 picks during this period, you have Washington x 2, the Clippers, Bulls, Portland, Toronto, Milwaukee, Orlando, Cleveland, Houston and the Nets who have gone #1. The Bulls have won the NBA in this period. Aside from Cleveland last year, if memory serves the others have not played in the NBA Finals series. Some of those teams like Orlando, Portland, Toronto, Washington and Brooklyn have frankly struggled to regularly get to the playoffs (of which half the teams make the playoffs every year).

On the crowds, you can talk about sport in general as much as you like, frankly. But its a tell tale sign when Wayne Scurrah, who definitely tried to diversify our revenue streams away from crowds, spoke ad nauseum over and over on the record about break even crowd figures and how poor attendance affected the club financially. If they're only worth 10% of the revenue, certainly you'd throw your focus well and truly on other areas. For sports like the American sports or the EPL with massive, monstrous television deals, outrageous merchandise sales, and unparalleled sponsorship monies, yes you can point to crowds being a small portion.
 

bruce

Contributor
Well said - out of one problem (media ownership) and into a new one where the clubs have control. Only way forward really is for a couple of clubs to become such basket cases that the other clubs want them gone.
That is happening but too slowly sadly. It probably only that Balmain were desperate enough to merge with Wests that saved them from the chop. I don't know how Cronulla continues to survive, I bet many in Sydney don't either.
 

bruce

Contributor
What about my post questioning whether Australia or New Zealand actually has sufficient population for successfully sports leagues?
They have, just look at the AFL. The problem with the NRL isn't the overall population which is about 20 million league followers, it is Sydney which has 5 million and controls the show.
 
Firstly, the bolded part, there has been a lot of talk here in Sydney that clubs are beside themselves with the content of the blueprint. Shane Richardson himself has had to go on record to backtrack a bit by claiming its just a discussion piece and is glad he's copping the criticism as that was the intention of it.

Your point about the draft, lets look at 2000-2010 at top 5 picks.
2000-Kenyon Miles, Stromile Swift, Darius Miles, Marcus Fizer, Mike Miller - not a single star or game changer there
2001-Kwame Brown, Tyson Chandler, Pau Gasol, Eddy Curry, Jason Richardson - Chandler has had about 2 good seasons, Gasol is good, the others are horrible
2002-Yao Ming, Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy, Drew Gooden, Nikolaz Tskhitishivli - Yao Ming aside, none of them turned clubs around
2003-LBJ, Darko Milicic, Melo, Bosh, Wade - 4 great players here, 1 flop
2004-Dwight Howard, Emeka Okafor, Ben Gordon, Shaun Livingston, Devin Harris - Dwight Howard aside, thats a pretty ordinary lot isn't it
2005-Andrew Bogut, Marvin Williams, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Raymond Felton - CP3 easily dominates here, Bogut is a handy role player, Williams had 2-3 good seasons
2006-Andrea Bargnani, LeMarcus Aldridge, Adam Morrison, Tyrus Thomas, Shelden Williams - Aldridge is a very good player, not elite I would say though. The rest, horrid
2007-Greg Oden, Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Mike Conley Jr, Jeff Green - Durant is outstanding, Horford is good, Conley decent
2008-Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, OJ Mayo, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love - Rose, Westbrook and Love are outstanding, the other two are serviceable journeyman
2009-Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio - Griffin and Harden are outstanding, Evans is a decent journeyman, Rubio is a good passer but limited elsewhere
2010- John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, Wesley Johnson, DeMarcus Cousins - Wall is a very good point guard, Cousins is a troubled by very fine centre, the rest are journeymen at best

So there you have it. The draft is not the be all and end all that some think it is to distribute talent. Off the top of my head, Miller (as a role player), Gasol, LBJ (but not with his original club), Wade, Bosh (but not with his original club), Bogut (as a 3rd or 4th best player in his team) have won an NBA championship. The rest have not. If we go by #1 picks during this period, you have Washington x 2, the Clippers, Bulls, Portland, Toronto, Milwaukee, Orlando, Cleveland, Houston and the Nets who have gone #1. The Bulls have won the NBA in this period. Aside from Cleveland last year, if memory serves the others have not played in the NBA Finals series. Some of those teams like Orlando, Portland, Toronto, Washington and Brooklyn have frankly struggled to regularly get to the playoffs (of which half the teams make the playoffs every year).

On the crowds, you can talk about sport in general as much as you like, frankly. But its a tell tale sign when Wayne Scurrah, who definitely tried to diversify our revenue streams away from crowds, spoke ad nauseum over and over on the record about break even crowd figures and how poor attendance affected the club financially. If they're only worth 10% of the revenue, certainly you'd throw your focus well and truly on other areas. For sports like the American sports or the EPL with massive, monstrous television deals, outrageous merchandise sales, and unparalleled sponsorship monies, yes you can point to crowds being a small portion.
So what are you suggesting - let all of the "good" players you mentioned in that draft go where? Wherever they want? Don't worry about spreading the talent. Do that and those smaller franchises fold. I've explained over and over and over about how those good players have gone to different franchises and reinvigorated them. Rose, Wall, Griffin, Howard, Irving, LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Towns, Anthony - all went to struggling teams and turned them around. You can't argue with that - it is obvious to see. Therein the draft works. There are a lot more rookies in the NBA than there are in the NRL so naturally it is harder selecting the best ones from the group. Bottom line is those guys all ended up with franchises that weren't much chop and helped make them competitive (you don't have to win a title to be competitive).
As for the crowd percentages - ring up the Warriors and ask them. Ask the NZRU, ask NZ Cricket, ask the guy who runs the ASB Classic - they comprise around 10% of total income. Maybe you should give Scurrah a call and ask him for the numbers - prove me wrong and I'll offer you a full apology. I had this very discussion with numerous leading CEOs and I'm telling you they all say the same thing.
 

bruce

Contributor
I was not advocating scraping the league, relocating four Sydney clubs or promotion and relegation. I was merely providing what appears to be the three potential strategies - four, if you count not changing anything radically - that could form the basis of a potential blue print for the NRL's future.
And the elephant in the room is the Sydney clubs
 
So what are you suggesting - let all of the "good" players you mentioned in that draft go where? Wherever they want? Don't worry about spreading the talent. Do that and those smaller franchises fold. I've explained over and over and over about how those good players have gone to different franchises and reinvigorated them. Rose, Wall, Griffin, Howard, Irving, LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Towns, Anthony - all went to struggling teams and turned them around. You can't argue with that - it is obvious to see. Therein the draft works. There are a lot more rookies in the NBA than there are in the NRL so naturally it is harder selecting the best ones from the group. Bottom line is those guys all ended up with franchises that weren't much chop and helped make them competitive (you don't have to win a title to be competitive).
As for the crowd percentages - ring up the Warriors and ask them. Ask the NZRU, ask NZ Cricket, ask the guy who runs the ASB Classic - they comprise around 10% of total income. Maybe you should give Scurrah a call and ask him for the numbers - prove me wrong and I'll offer you a full apology. I had this very discussion with numerous leading CEOs and I'm telling you they all say the same thing.

Check this site out. Approx 40% for NHL, 38% for MLB. Also, if you drop crowd numbers it would imply your brand isn't attractive which decrease merchandise and sponsorship revenues as well.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/193413/percentage-of-ticketing-revenue-in-the-nhl-since-2006/

On the guys you've named, you've named I think 9 players from that era out of 50. Not a great percentage. John Wall took 4 seasons to get into the playoffs. Irving as good as he is needed LBJ back. Wade as good as he is had Bosh and LBJ. I'd suggest those teams needed many more trade pieces to be successful. Which in our game is achieved through the salary cap artificially trading players around.

There's one area we need to fix IMO, TPAs. The reason Canberra don't attract players is because the TPAs are significantly better in larger centres. Melbourne Storm used to get cap concessions, I think providing concessions based on economic TPA availability would lean towards parity. That said, our record suggests with the amount of teams getting to the finals, number of clubs who have won since 2000, and lack of back to back premiers we already have a competition that is spreading success. Fix the TPAs and it would be perfect.
 
- Increasing the size of NRL squads to 36 players – including six rookies

- Restricting players from making their NRL debuts until the year they turn 19. No player to be signed with an agent until he is 17 - and contracts for these players should be for a maximum three-year term



Can someone explain to me what 'rookie' is? Rookie isn't an 18 year old is it. If not I'm all good with those two recommendations. Happy to see the ANZAC test changed actually if it can be replaced with at least one international game played in NZ. We could have NZ vs Samoa in NZ than Samoa the following year for example. An extended NRL squad could increase NZ's ability to play more internationals. Good. A state based juniors comp would push needing better development/recruitment for the Warriors. Good. The flow on effect for our local game could be very good.
 
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Check this site out. Approx 40% for NHL, 38% for MLB. Also, if you drop crowd numbers it would imply your brand isn't attractive which decrease merchandise and sponsorship revenues as well.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/193413/percentage-of-ticketing-revenue-in-the-nhl-since-2006/

On the guys you've named, you've named I think 9 players from that era out of 50. Not a great percentage. John Wall took 4 seasons to get into the playoffs. Irving as good as he is needed LBJ back. Wade as good as he is had Bosh and LBJ. I'd suggest those teams needed many more trade pieces to be successful. Which in our game is achieved through the salary cap artificially trading players around.

There's one area we need to fix IMO, TPAs. The reason Canberra don't attract players is because the TPAs are significantly better in larger centres. Melbourne Storm used to get cap concessions, I think providing concessions based on economic TPA availability would lean towards parity. That said, our record suggests with the amount of teams getting to the finals, number of clubs who have won since 2000, and lack of back to back premiers we already have a competition that is spreading success. Fix the TPAs and it would be perfect.
Actually I was talking about gate takings in this part of the world with our format of playing once a week during season not 162 games plus playoffs in baseball or 82 plus playoffs in hockey/basketball. Just check with the Warriors - what % of their income is gate takings? I think you'll find it is give or take 10% - maybe even less.
You keep crapping on about 50 rookies and only 9 were any good - the bottom line is that 9 franchises were rebuilt as a result of them drafting those players. Do you disagree with that? Without acquiring those players via the draft where would those franchises be now? Would they even exist? By the way Wade won an NBA title with the Heat before LeBron did so it clearly worked in Miami.
I don't care whether teams make smart decisions in terms of which players to draft - that is the sporting element of it all - what i care about is giving those smaller clubs a chance at succeeding and that is precisely what the draft delivered with the NBA teams we are talking about.
You keep going to back to this silly measure of the year 2000-present. The year 2000-2010 was a fantastic period for the sport where the NRL had the right balance to the cap etc and it provided a level playing field. You are correct in that success was shared around and the talent was distributed reasonably evenly. But since 2010 the cap has shot up at a rate of knots and the TPA rules have been relaxed. The game's income has nearly doubled in the last five years, the media companies want more for their investment, we've had the change in structure with the commission coming in so the whole landscape has totally changed. It is pointless examining 2000-now because it won't give an accurate reading to gauge the future. You need to examine the last five years and look at the current trends. A good ship's captain reacts before the boat crashes into the iceberg not after it has made contact.
In a perfect world you would limit the TPAs - I agree with you there - however if you do that the best players up and head off to other codes. They relaxed the TPA rules for that exact reason a few seasons ago. They aren't going to change it back just like promotion/relegation etc won't happen. The 16 existing clubs own the sandpit now so they make the rules and will protect themselves first.
 

bruce

Contributor
[QUOTE ]The 16 existing clubs own the sandpit now so they make the rules and will protect themselves first.[/QUOTE]
They do and that is only normal. However the other elephant in the room is the growth of AFL.

Also the salary cap isn't the only factor in the rich versus poor clubs. Training facilities and coaching staff cost money as well.
 
Actually I was talking about gate takings in this part of the world with our format of playing once a week during season not 162 games plus playoffs in baseball or 82 plus playoffs in hockey/basketball. Just check with the Warriors - what % of their income is gate takings? I think you'll find it is give or take 10% - maybe even less.
You keep crapping on about 50 rookies and only 9 were any good - the bottom line is that 9 franchises were rebuilt as a result of them drafting those players. Do you disagree with that? Without acquiring those players via the draft where would those franchises be now? Would they even exist? By the way Wade won an NBA title with the Heat before LeBron did so it clearly worked in Miami.
I don't care whether teams make smart decisions in terms of which players to draft - that is the sporting element of it all - what i care about is giving those smaller clubs a chance at succeeding and that is precisely what the draft delivered with the NBA teams we are talking about.
You keep going to back to this silly measure of the year 2000-present. The year 2000-2010 was a fantastic period for the sport where the NRL had the right balance to the cap etc and it provided a level playing field. You are correct in that success was shared around and the talent was distributed reasonably evenly. But since 2010 the cap has shot up at a rate of knots and the TPA rules have been relaxed. The game's income has nearly doubled in the last five years, the media companies want more for their investment, we've had the change in structure with the commission coming in so the whole landscape has totally changed. It is pointless examining 2000-now because it won't give an accurate reading to gauge the future. You need to examine the last five years and look at the current trends. A good ship's captain reacts before the boat crashes into the iceberg not after it has made contact.
In a perfect world you would limit the TPAs - I agree with you there - however if you do that the best players up and head off to other codes. They relaxed the TPA rules for that exact reason a few seasons ago. They aren't going to change it back just like promotion/relegation etc won't happen. The 16 existing clubs own the sandpit now so they make the rules and will protect themselves first.

Crapping on? Ok, I thought we were having a mature debate where I've cited examples, stats, and the one abnormality with our current system that creates inequity, but if you feel that strongly that your response is about crapping on, if it makes you feel better, bravo.

To answer your assertion on the relative merits of the draft, going back to the NBA from 2000 to 2010

2000: New Jersey Nets went #1, they've been to the finals 8 out of 16 times. No titles.
2001: Washington Wizards went #1, they've been to the finals 7 out of 15 times. No titles.
2002: Houston Rockets went #1, they've been to the finals 8 out of 14 times. No titles.
2003: Cleveland Caviliers went #1, they've been to the finals 6 out of 13 times. No titles.
2004: Orlando Magic went #1, they've been to the finals 6 out of 12 times. No titles.
2005: Milwaukee Bucks went #1, they've been to the finals 4 out of 11 times. No titles.
2006: Toronto Raptors went #1, they've been to the finals 4 out of 10 times. No titles.
2007: Portland Trail Blazers went #1, they've been to the finals 5 out of 9 times. No titles.
2008: Chicago Bulls went #1, they've gone to the finals every year since. No titles.
2009: LA Clippers went #1, they've been 4 out of 7 years since. No titles.
2010: Washington Wizards are back again, they've been to the finals 2 out of 6 years. No titles.

Yes, I think your word 'reinvigorate' is probably right. There is an improvement. Although, to be fair, there was no way but up for these clubs. The Bulls are the stand out. The rest are ok, but remembering half the teams get to the NBA finals, and given some teams will tank towards the end to get a higher chance in the draft lottery, it should be easier to make it than miss.

From a spectacle perspective, I love the draft. Its great fun. Its highly unpredictable, such as Pizingas for the Knicks getting booed by the crowd, and now having a very good rookie year. But I truly do not believe that our set up in Australasia compares to what their systems have, we don't have combines or the rookie scouting networks they have, we don't have mainstream media covering college games to millions of households and in front of 10s of thousands of fans, its a different culture. Their whole game is centred around passion in their college systems and their teams, we just don't have that mentality.
 
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Crapping on? Ok, I thought we were having a mature debate where I've cited examples, stats, and the one abnormality with our current system that creates inequity, but if you feel that strongly that your response is about crapping on, if it makes you feel better, bravo.

To answer your assertion on the relative merits of the draft, going back to the NBA from 2000 to 2010

2000: New Jersey Nets went #1, they've been to the finals 8 out of 16 times. No titles.
2001: Washington Wizards went #1, they've been to the finals 7 out of 15 times. No titles.
2002: Houston Rockets went #1, they've been to the finals 8 out of 14 times. No titles.
2003: Cleveland Caviliers went #1, they've been to the finals 6 out of 13 times. No titles.
2004: Orlando Magic went #1, they've been to the finals 6 out of 12 times. No titles.
2005: Milwaukee Bucks went #1, they've been to the finals 4 out of 11 times. No titles.
2006: Toronto Raptors went #1, they've been to the finals 4 out of 10 times. No titles.
2007: Portland Trail Blazers went #1, they've been to the finals 5 out of 9 times. No titles.
2008: Chicago Bulls went #1, they've gone to the finals every year since. No titles.
2009: LA Clippers went #1, they've been 4 out of 7 years since. No titles.
2010: Washington Wizards are back again, they've been to the finals 2 out of 6 years. No titles.

Yes, I think your word 'reinvigorate' is probably right. There is an improvement. Although, to be fair, there was no way but up for these clubs. The Bulls are the stand out. The rest are ok, but remembering half the teams get to the NBA finals, and given some teams will tank towards the end to get a higher chance in the draft lottery, it should be easier to make it than miss.

From a spectacle perspective, I love the draft. Its great fun. Its highly unpredictable, such as Pizingas for the Knicks getting booed by the crowd, and now having a very good rookie year. But I truly do not believe that our set up in Australasia compares to what their systems have, we don't have combines or the rookie scouting networks they have, we don't have mainstream media covering college games to millions of households and in front of 10s of thousands of fans, its a different culture. Their whole game is centred around passion in their college systems and their teams, we just don't have that mentality.
We are having a mature discussion and I have acknowledged some of the good points you have raised but you are crapping on about one point that is not relevant. A draft spreads the talent and the examples I gave have shown it spreads the talent. I'm not sure what your point is going on and on about the teams that have had high draft picks and then not won championships? The best understanding I can get is that you're trying to say the draft doesn't do a good enough job of spreading the talent. Surely it is better than not having a draft at all when there would be no spread of talent at all?? You say there was no way but up for those clubs - umm they could stop existing and that is a serious proposition for the NRL clubs in a similar position.
You say the Bulls are the standout there but I would say (based on gut feel rather than hard data) that the Cavaliers' acquisition of LeBron had more of an impact than the Bulls picking up Rose.
All of those things you talk about around the interest of scouting, watching, analysing players before being drafted came about because of the draft. A decade from now maybe the NRL has all of those things around it's draft (to scale of course).
All I know is there is a massive problem facing the NRL right now about how best to spread the talent of players. The NYC hasn't worked - most clubs want it gone. The top sides assemble sides twice as good as the bottom sides now (maybe not five years ago but they do now) but somehow spend the same money on those players - how? There is no way you can reduce the cap with more money coming into the game than ever before. TPAs are a problem but the players won't allow them to be removed, they will hardly go back on something they reverted to just a few seasons ago. So how do you spread the talent evenly?
A draft looks the best option at this point.
 
They have, just look at the AFL. The problem with the NRL isn't the overall population which is about 20 million league followers, it is Sydney which has 5 million and controls the show.


Where did you get those numbers? Considering the total population of NZ and Aussie is a bit over 27 million, I think stating 20 million of them are league followers is optimistic to the extreme, as for Sydney's population you have some how found 700 000 more people than actually live there to get to 5 million. that's without taking away the people that don't follow league. I'm all for backing up your posts with stats just try to be accurate.
 

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