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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Does NBA Want to Force College Players to Stay in School Two Years?

After lamenting the lack of quality play in college basketball this season, I suggested a solution to improve the sport. My suggestion was having the NCAA institute a rule saying players who choose to enroll in college must stay at least three years before being eligible for the NBA draft. At the same time, I also said players should be allowed to enter the draft straight out of high school to make it more fair for the NBA-ready players. While the league doesn’t seem to be interested in making the draft open to high schoolers (which they should), they may be interested in keeping players in college for longer.

In a report published Friday that talked about prospect and son of coach Doc Rivers, Austin Rivers (pictured), Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports says the NBA may want to extend the one-and-done rule to two years in the next CBA. Quoting from his column, which I first saw on Pro Basketball Talk, “Several high-ranking NBA team executives told Yahoo! Sports they wouldn’t be surprised if the age limit in the new CBA is pushed to two years in college and 20 years old by the end of that calendar year. One NBA general manager says about two-thirds of teams are in favor of that change.”

If two-thirds of teams are in favor of that change it sure sounds like a very realistic possibility. The problem is we’re going in the wrong direction in one sense, and the NCAA should be joining them in these talks to help improve the quality of their game.

As far as NBA teams are concerned, it sure seems like they want players want to stay in school longer in order to develop. That way players they draft come into the league older and hopefully more skilled and matured. In this sense, it could help eliminate some of the guess work that comes with drafting 18 and 19-year-old kids.

On the other hand, some of the best players in the league came straight from high school. You cannot tell me that LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, and Amare Stoudemire were not NBA-ready out of high school. Why deny them the opportunity to play in the league out of high school?

Lastly, the NBA needs to start utilizing the D-League more and turn it into a real minor league. It’s the Developmental League — stick guys in the D-League and let them improve. I know that’s a thought with which Lou Williams agrees.

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