Two and Done
Another NBA draft has gone by, another 30 young men are guaranteed millionaires, another 10 one and done freshmen were selected in the 1st round. Wait…what? That’s right. 10 college freshmen decided to forego their college eligibility and enter the professional league of endorsement deals. I…I mean basketball. So what does this mean for the league?
For the league to save its image, David Stern will need to renegotiate the terms of the CBA in 2010 to require 2 years of college for incoming draft picks. The NBA has already turned into a children’s league with 18 teams having an average age of 26 or less. Gone are the days of the two 32 year olds working the pick n’ roll. In are the days of the 20 year old isolating in the corner. To save fundamentals in the world’s best basketball league, the NBA needs to raise the age minimum.
It’s completely understandable that a 19 year old kid would want to enter the NBA for financial purposes. Who wouldn’t? But what happens to the players who go in the 2nd round and receive a non-guaranteed contract or even worse, undrafted? There were 13 freshmen who decided to keep their name in the 2008 NBA draft. Of those 13, 3 may not have a steady job next year. For Derrick Rose or OJ Mayo, get money
! For Davon Jefferson, Bill Walker, and DeAndre Jordan, what are you thinking?
These three players will be fighting for a contract next year.
The NBA had originally allowed high school seniors to pass over their college eligibility and declare for the NBA draft. Nothing wrong with an 18 year old trying to feed his family and make millions right? Well…sorta
. For every LeBron James there was a Brandon Hunter. For every Dwight Howard there was a Lenny Cooke. And has anybody heard from Ndubi Ebi, Ousmane Cisse, or Leon Smith lately? While the players who were ready were making millions, the undrafted high school seniors were struggling in the DLeague or Europe for some chump change.
The NCAA might be taking the biggest hit of all. Schools such as Kansas State and USC only benefit from their star recruits for one year, while schools such as Kansas and UNC are winning more games with their 2, 3, and 4 year starters. Is it really worth recruiting a five star recruit who gives you success for only one year, then puts you right back in the gutter when he moves on?
A two year minimum requirement for college basketball needs to be enforced. In the NFL, players are required to play three years of college athletics before moving on to the professional ranks. In the MLB, players are allowed to enter the draft out of high school should they be ready. However, it is rare that an 18 year old is not playing in the minor leagues. Should a player choose not to enter the draft, they also must commit to a 3 year minimum requirement of college athletics.
A two year minimum will better the talent pool of the NBA. Since getting rid of the “high school straight to the NBA” era, NBA teams are no longer allowed to scout athletes before receiving a high school diploma. Should Anthony Randolph or Kosta Koufos become an NBA “bust”, can you blame the team who drafted them with only one year of scouting time? Plenty of players settle down after bursting on to the scene in their freshman years. Taj Gibson, a forward from USC, was a very capable freshman in 2006-2007 averaging 12 ppg , 9 rpg, and 2 bpg. Would anybody have been surprised if he entered the draft after that year? Yet in his sophomore campaign, his numbers went backwards, and he will now be coming back for his junior season. Two years of college basketball gives NBA scouts a better evaluation of players, gives players more time to mature, and college coaches more time to win. David Stern, git-er-done