Tuck: Is Raising The NBA Age Limit Necessary?

I’ve been over all the basketball reasons why one-and-done and high school-to-the-NBA have actually been great for the NBA, and not at all hurt the league.

But have we ever really taken the time to look at who the league is trying so hard to keep out?

There are 43 early entries declared for the 2014 NBA Draft.  9 of them are freshmen.  So just over 20% of the early entries are one-and-done.

Of those 9 players, at least 7 of them are projected lottery picks.  The top 4 picks could all be freshmen. James Young and Zach LaVine could be lottery picks, but both are expected to go in the 1st round at the very least.

If there is that little debate about the talent of these kids, then why is it necessary to send them back to school for another year?  Furthermore, we are talking about 9 kids out of the thousands of freshmen in college basketball that decided to do this.  What is the big deal that a few want to leave early?  How is it hurting the NBA product?

Last year, there were 51 early entries in the draft.  8 of them were freshmen.  All of them were drafted.  You might worry about Ricky Ledo and Grant Jerrett being 2nd round picks and having to play in the NBDL for most of this past year.  I ask, why?  Are you concerned about the sophomores and juniors that left early and went in the 2nd round, or didn’t even get drafted?  Staying in school another year doesn’t guarantee you get drafted higher or even that you get a degree or that you get a good job.

Far and away more sophomores and juniors that leave early go in the 2nd round or don’t get drafted at all.  It has nothing to do with age and everything to do with talent projections. Do we talk about it hurting the NBA when they fail?  Or when seniors fail?  Or even if your argument is that many of the one-and-done’s aren’t ready to play right away, what do you say about the other rookies that can’t crack a rotation, or get assigned to the D-League, or get cut?

Raising the age limit will simply limit talented players earning potential.  It will not hurt the NBA to raise the age limit.  It will not hurt college basketball either.  That’s why most fans either don’t care or are for it.

I just don’t see how it’s necessary because the current set-up is not hurting the NBA.