The only people that are happy about the NBA’s one-and-done rule is the NCAA. It allows teams to profit off of young players who would normally be earning a wage in the NBA for at least a year, all without directly paying players.
The NBA used to allow high school players to enter the league directly after their senior season. It took some time, but now much of the NBA viewing public seems to agree that allowing team to draft players directly out of high school is a better benefit to all parties involved.
We hear chatter from time to time about the league deciding to allow high schoolers to enter the league, but now it seems like it is going to be more of a realistic possibility. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that he believed that the league was ready to make the change and stop sending young players to college who would normally be on draft boards.
Amateurism is long gone in the NCAA, but taking one-and-done players off of college rosters would still be a help to the game. It’s likely that more players would need to stick around longer in order to develop their skills, giving college basketball fans a longer look and a deeper connection to their squads.
Meanwhile, allowing players to come out at 18 and get paid by NBA teams would help get players paid for their services and talent. It would also help chip away at the mask of amateurism in the NCAA, but that’s not directly the NBA’s concern.
It’s not clear whether a change is coming soon for the league in this regard, but it appears that the public has reached a tipping point and the league is nothing if socially conscious when it comes to their brand image. Allowing players to play and not get paid when fans are demanding the opposite won’t stand for long.
No doubt the NCAA will voice their concern in any way they can, but there isn’t any real recourse they could take against the NBA.
It seems like the only thing that could stop this now is if NBA team owners decide they don’t want this to happen. The risk for NBA teams is that they will draft players who haven’t had enough time to develop, and who they don’t have enough scouting on straight out of high school. Drafting players, at least on paper, becomes much more of a gamble when they come directly out at 18.
I’m not sure that’s strictly true. It seems like a lot of teams take chances on guys they have seen plenty of in the college ranks and they end up being complete busts. For every Moses Malone as there is a Greg Oden. For every Kevin Garnett there’s a JJ Redick. It varies from player-to-player, and if teams need to devote more time scouting high schoolers it’s not a significant outlay compared to their overall development budget.
Let’s hope this happens soon.