NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been at the helm for just about one month, but that hasn’t stopped him from attempting to make major rule changes in the league.
One of the bigger issues that Silver has been pushing to address is to increase the NBA draft’s one-and-done rule for incoming prospects. Silver addressed at the All-Star weekend that he wants to raise the age limit for a player to enter the draft from 19 to 20, and to also have 2 years experience of playing in college rather than just 1.
According the USA Today’s Sam Amick, Silver recently sought advice from Houston Rockets head coach Kevin McHale about the topic, in which he wasn’t shy in saying that he wants the age limit to be higher:
“I’m totally against it(one-and-done rule),” McHale said. “I understand (the argument) that it’s America and everybody has a right to work. I understand that. But the guys aren’t ready. (When) you’re 16 years old or 15 years old, they don’t put you into doggone smelting or anything. Man, the NBA is a man’s league, and I think a lot of these young guys come in early and their careers would prosper if they stayed (in college).
“I’d like to see us do the three years out of high school or 21 (years old), like football. I just think it would help the colleges. I think it would help the kids. And I know they don’t think so, because they want to say, ‘Hey, I’ve got to get in the market. I’ve got to make all my money and all that stuff.’ But you don’t make money if you have a three-year career, if you come in at 18, 19, and you’re not ready.”
McHale also went on to state that he believes that the majority of players would approve of the change if they voted as a 19-year old has the potential of taking the job of a veteran at the moment.
And while the argument is the fact that players who made the jump from high school to the NBA like Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, etc have all had successful careers, there’s still the likes of Korleone Young, Jonathan Bender, Darius Miles, Robert Swift, and other busts who signify that the majority of 18/19 year olds aren’t ready.
Rockets guard James Harden spoke about the issue, as he is a product of playing at Arizona State University for just 1 season before entering the draft:
“I see it both ways, I think if guys are young, some guys mature faster than other guys. Some guys are young, but they’re ready physically and mentally to play basketball. And then you have other guys where they’re making a mistake coming out early just because they see the opportunity and then fail and don’t reach their potential. Mentally I was ready (upon entering the NBA) and physically, I was ready. I had a lot of learning to do, but I think that first year helped me out a lot and then from there I got it. And once you get it, you’re going to last a long time in this league.”
As of now, Silver has plans of changing the rule, but there is no official word on if or when a vote would take place. This proposal was brought up during the negotiations of the 2011 NBA lockout, but was considered a ‘B-List’ item at the moment to be resolved at a later date.