NBA players association wants age minimum dropped to 18
The NBA's players association wants the age limit for the NBA draft to return to 18 years old from 19 but will listen to commissioner David Stern's desire to increase it to 20 only if it gets significant concessions to the rookie wage scale and an incentive program for players who stay in school longer.
The NBPA issued a statement to ESPN.com on Thursday in response to Stern's comments since the end of the NCAA tournament last month, as well as former Suns general manager Steve Kerr's column on the same subject on Grantland.com earlier this week.
The rule, which has to be negotiated between the NBPA and the NBA, not the NCAA, has been coined "one-and-done" since so many players play one year of college ball before going pro. The draft rule requires players to be 19 and one year out of high school to be eligible for the draft. The 2005 rule wasn't changed during the latest negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement, as the league was mired in a lockout that limited the season to 66 games.
Re: NBA players association wants age minimum dropped to 18
I really don't understand the Union's desire to lower the age limit when it's going to cost it's existing members jobs. The only reason I can see to ask for it's reduction while the league is asking for it to raise is to use it as a bargaining chip.
I actually like the idea of raising it to 20. I know you may be able to make some civil liberties argument against it, but it's not as if employers aren't allowed to dictate their terms of employment. And the thing that made the most sense in the Kerr column is that it allows teams to make more educated choices, which is what I would focus on as the league as my argument. You don't have to require college, which would at that point probably be illegal, but a two year run in some minor league could make sense as a term of eligibility. The weird case would be David Robinson. His late life growth spurt is well recorded. Now he went to college, so it doesn't matter much, but what if he hadn't. Had spent two years working at Home Depot as a 6-4 guy who was just a good high school basketball player and played competitive pickup four times a week. Then all of a sudden he had a 9 inch growth spurt from 18 to 20. I'm not sure how you account for him. So you just set the age at 20, open the D-League to prospects and it gives you a couple extra years to scout.
The proposed baseball rule where you can either come out of HS, or spend 2 years in college, I just don't get. I don't see the advantage of it, except to account for the true prodigies like Lebron.
I've also bandied about the idea of adding some incentives for college players to stay under the current system or even at the out of HS level. Add to a players rookie contract terms if he stays longer. Throw the guy who stays longer more money. Or take some time off of his rookie contract. Let him become a FA a little sooner. If the league is getting a more seasoned player, they shouldn't need the extra time to develop a guy, and should know sooner weather they want to keep the guy on their roster and sign him as a FA sooner. Or give the player a player option after his initial rookie deal, so he can walk if he outperforms it, or stay and earn some more and get another year to prove himself if he thinks he's on his way out.
There aren't any easy answers it seems. But the age limits have worked for football, and baseball in large part due to it's layered minor league systems.
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