One potential point of contention that may come up during negotiations for the next collective bargaining agreement is in regards to the current minimum age requirement for players to enter the NBA Draft. The current rule — which has been in place since 2005 — prevents a player from playing in the NBA until he’s been eligible for at least one draft. In order to be eligible, you must be at least 19 years of age during the calendar year in which that draft takes place, and if you’re an American-born prospect, you have to be at least one year removed from high school.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has gone on record stating that he’d like to increase the minimum age for draft eligibility to 20 years old, using the argument that an additional year to allow players to mature would improve the overall quality of the game. Of course, the NBPA wasn’t thrilled with that proposal, and its stance is that there should be no age restrictions imposed on players and their earning potential.
This brings me to the question/topic of the day: What changes, if any, need to be made to the current eligibility system for the NBA Draft?
On a practical level, I fully concur with Silver’s assertion that more mature and developed players entering the league would be good for the game, but on a philosophical level I support the NBPA’s stance. My solution to the issue is directly tied to the NBA D-League and its eventual expansion. I believe the best possible compromise for both the players and the teams would be to make 18 the minimum age but confine players under the age of 20 to the D-League. This would allow players freedom to forgo college and immediately begin earning a salary, as well as give teams time to develop the players for when they are eligible to join the big boys. My plan would certainly require an adjustment to how rookie scale deals are handled, but it would almost assuredly be a workable solution that could appease both parties.
But now its time for you to weigh in. Let me know what you think of my suggested course of action, be it positive or negative. We also want to hear your solutions to this issue. Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say.