After meeting for more than five hours today, the NBA coaches and general managers decided to recommend that rules to counter the tendency of teams to isolate players be experimented with during the exhibition season.
Teams have been isolating players in two-man or one-on-one games by placing the other offensive men far away from the basket, drawing their defenders with them. The group is considering adding an "illegal offense" rule, one similar to the present illegal defense rule.
The offensive version would work the same way, the first violation being subject to a warning, with the second bringing an automatic technical.
The other possibility being studied is to allow teams to continue isolating players but giving the defending team the freedom to allow the remaining players to fall into a zone. That would, in effect, create a two-on-five mismatch favoring the defense, which probably would discourage teams from using isolation plays.
Both ideas will be presented to the NBA Board of Governors by the league's rules and competition committee, which will recommend that individual teams and the league experiment with the concepts through the exhibition season, after which a firm decision will be made.
Those changes may be the only thing the board will have to act on in their meeting Wednesday, according to Washington Bullets General Manager Bob Ferry. Lottery Changes Considered
Ferry said today that the coaches and general managers asked the rules and competition committee to allow the formation of a committee to study possible changes in the NBA's draft lottery.
"I don't like things the way they are now, but I'm not sure what the best alternative is," Ferry said. "I just think we want to take more time to study them."
The two main possibilities the league seems to be considering are:
Weigh the lottery somehow. Of the seven nonplayoff teams participating, make it so the team with the worst record, say, would get seven chances to pull the No. 1 pick out of a hat and the next-worst team would get six chances, all the way down to the best nonplayoff team getting only one chance.
Have a drawing for only the first two draft picks, then revert back to the worst-team formula. In that case, the team with the poorest record in the league could pick no worse than third.
"We've made some hasty decisions in the past," said Phoenix Suns General Manager Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the rules and competition committee. "The game that we have is good. There's no reason to make changes just for change's sake." Wanted: Franklin Mieuli
The most highly sought person today was Franklin Mieuli, owner of the Golden State Warriors.
His team has less than a week to decide whether to match the multimillion dollar offer made to center Joe Barry Carroll by the Milwaukee Bucks and work out some sort of trade or convince the 7-foot center -- who already has expressed his disdain for the team -- that he could be happy with Golden State.
It was thought that Mieuli would announce the team's intention of matching the Bucks' offer today, but that didn't happen.
Mieuli said the situation "will probably go down to the wire."
"The thing is, most of the people involved are very cunning," he said, referring to Don Nelson, Milwaukee's coach and director of player personnel, who included a $2 million signing bonus in his offer. That type of money might be too much for the financially strapped Mieuli to afford.
Reportedly, Mieuli is seeking a bank loan or possible investors for the team, with the promise of a limited partnership.
The party that seems the most interested in such a deal is James Fitzgerald, owner of the Bucks until last winter.
Bucks Vice President John Steinmiller said he thinks Fitzgerald is interested in the Warriors, but "Fitz wouldn't get involved in anything where he didn't have a major say-so in what was happening. I don't know if Mieuli would give him an option to buy the club at a later date but it would probably take something like that to bring Fitz into it."