Time for NBA To Do Away with One and Done Rule

Earlier this week, NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, brought up the prospect of lowering the age limit from 19 to 18 for those looking to play in the league.

Before thinking that this would be a mistake by the NBA, let us take time consider its actual impact.

Just because the age to enter the association could be lowered to 18 does not mean there will be an inordinate amount of players trying to make the jump from high school directly to the NBA.

Dwight Howard was drafted first overall out of high school by the Orlando Magic in 2004.

In 2005, the last year high school players were allowed to go straight to the NBA, there were no Howards or Lebron James’ who would have immediate impacts on the league. Instead, Martell Webster was taken number sixth overall with Andrew Bynum (tenth) and Gerald Green (18th) the only other high schoolers drafted in the first round.

The one and done rule has changed the college basketball landscape with coaches willing to offer scholarships to players they know will not be around more than a year. This makes it tough to build dynasties like the great John Wooden’s UCLA teams in the 60’s and 70’s.

For years, Kentucky’s John Calipari would rebuild his roster from year to year after losing his best two to three players to the NBA. At Memphis, Calipari coached point guard Derrick Rose who left for the NBA after a year and was taken number one overall.

Kentucky has brought on the likes of John Wall, Anthony Davis, Nerlens Noel, and Karl Anthony-Towns all drafted first overall. Notable lottery picks from Kentucky since 2005 have been DeMarcus Cousins, Julius Randle, and Devin Booker to name a few.

Despite these talented players coming and going, these players could have all gone straight to the NBA. In addition, Calipari only has one title, in 2012, to show for bringing these one and domes to Lexington.

Calipari himself admitted earlier this week that the one and done rule needs to be eliminated.

“If they’re out of high school and they can go directly to the NBA and be drafted and get millions of dollars from the NBA, I’m for it 100 percent.”

The Kentucky leader sees players staying longer in college with the one and done rule eliminated.

Those who go to the NBA will not be leaving after a year. There will still be some who may feel ready to leave after a year, but Calipari believes most future NBA players “will stay at least two to three years or they would have gone to the league straight out of high school” and this makes him happy.

Widely regarded as the greatest modern day college basketball coach, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, has needed to go after players he also expected to leave after a year. Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Wendell Carter, and Marvin Bagley III have been some of the more recent players to play in front of the Cameron Crazies for only a year.

Can you believe that 1999 was the first year a player had left Duke early and not played all four years of eligibility?

That used to be the norm. Yet, this year alone, Coach K has four freshman in his starting lineup that are all considered potential lottery picks led by projected top two picks, Zion Williamson, and RK Barrett, respectively.

Potential player injuries are important, too. Earlier this week, Williamson, tore out of his Nike sneakers and suffered a mild first degree knee sprain. Many, including Cousins, are encouraging Williamson to sit out the rest of the season and prepare for the NBA draft rather than risk further injury.

What happened to the days of players like Christian Laettner, Grant Hill, and Bobby Hurley sticking around for four years to build a dynasty, enjoy college life, and hopefully earn a degree?

I understand that players today who know they are going to the NBA are not as worried about getting a degree. They can bask in their millions earned from even their rookie contract or attend college in the offseason or when they retire.

The current rule allowing players to be 19 years old and one year removed from high school needs to go. If a player does not like his draft slot or does not get drafted, he can still go to the college that offered him a scholarship.

It just becomes more important that players receive realistic feedback from coaches that will lead to them making the best choice for their future.

And that’s as I see it!

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