TheBigLead.com has posted a story asking seven of the top high school recruits in the country how they felt about the possibility of NBA commissioner Adam Silver raising the NBA’s draft-able age; possibly to 20.
1) Jahlil Okafor, Duke: “Two years there wouldn’t hurt me at all — it’d definitely benefit me. Whatever happens, happens, right now I’m just happy that I’m going to college.I definitely think it’s premature for me. I mean, I’m still in high school.”
2) Emmanuel Mudiay, SMU: “It’s a day-by-day thing, so I really can’t look that much into the future. I just gotta pay attention to what’s going on right now. Whatever happens with that happens.”
3) Stanley Johnson, Arizona: “Honestly, if you’re a pro, you’re a pro. As long as I get there, it doesn’t matter. I can do two years of college — I can do four years of college!
4) Tyus Jones, Duke: “I haven’t thought about that a whole lot. If they decide to implement that rule, we’ll just have to go with it and take it in stride. There’s nothing we can do about it. I think there will be a lot of other people upset, but that’s not something that upsets me.”
5) Myles Turner, Undecided: “I haven’t necessarily given that any thought. I haven’t been to college yet. I’m not sure how that whole spiel works. My personal opinion is that players should go only when they’re ready. If they are, they should go one-and-done, and shouldn’t wait, but I see what Mr. Silver is trying to do with that aspect.
6) Rashad Vaughn, UNLV: “I’ve heard about it, and I just hope it doesn’t happen for our class and some of the players who could do just one year. Hopefully it doesn’t pass for a long time.”
7) Kelly Oubre Jr., Kansas: “I haven’t thought about it at all. If you change the rule to two years, it’s going to give me the chance to elevate my game to the highest level. I’d just take it as a blessing from God to go in and be the best player I could be.”
There is no doubt that these young men all bring interesting perspectives. I have said all along that the NBA D-League would be a perfect farm system for high school aged players who feel that their game is ready to test at the next level. In a free market country, I think it’s borderline criminal to tell athletes in a certain sport they aren’t allowed to receive pay (no matter the skill level), until a certain age. In the NHL if you’re good enough, you can join the league, with zero stipulations starting at age 18. Same with Major League baseball.
Mind you, in the United States EVERYONE is allowed (and mature enough?)to fight in the military at age 18. Apparently, teens are legally responsible enough to operate some of the most technologically advanced weaponry on earth, yet they cannot be trusted with an opportunity to begin living their dreams a bit earlier than most.