It’s not coming anytime soon — both the NBA as an organization and Adam Silver as a commissioner tend to be detailed and methodical with big decisions — but the end of the one-and-done era seems to be coming. Probably not for a couple of years (at least), but the writing is on the wall between the NCAA scandal and the NBA looking for ways to have better relationships with high school players.
Kevin Durant was a one-and-done player at Texas, and when asked about the possible change by Logan Murdock of The Mercury News, he thought this was a good thing — but it came with a word of caution.
Durant gets into the most challenging issue of the NBA adopting something like the rule used in college baseball (teams can draft a player directly out of high school, but if they go to college they must stay at least three years, the NBA would likely go with two):
Some guys are going to declare but are not near ready. Maybe the youth is getting bad advice from those close to him, maybe he sees himself as far better than the rest of the world. But there are going to be players declaring for the draft — and very possibly signing with agents — who have no business going that route.
It would be no issue for that younger Durant, or someone like Ben Simmons two years ago, to go straight to the NBA (the league is better equipped to develop players than the last time high school players could be drafted), but how do youth who make a bad decision get a second chance? Could the NBA do something akin to what is seen at times in the NHL, where teams draft a player but he continues on with his junior team for a stretch (in this case, an NBA draftee could go to college for a couple of years but said team would retain draft rights)? Could the NCAA allow guys who declared — and signed with an agent — to go to college anyway if not drafted?
There are a lot of steps that need to be figured out by the NBA — such as how best to reach out to the elite high school players — and done so in some level of cooperation with the NCAA. Money is not going to be removed from the system with this, it will just be redirected, but the league and colleges need to be prepared for that.
It’s going to be a while before it happens. But Durant is right, this is good for the NBA.