Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver wants to change the leagues age requirements from 19 to 20. Former commissioner David Stern also tried to raise the age limit from 19 to 20 in the collective bargaining agreement in 2012 but was turned down. Now who would his rule change benefit? College programs perhaps and of course the colleges that make money of off these very “Student-Athletes.”
No doubt if the age limit is changed, college basketball will benefit from it tremendously. Instantly the level of play would increase, players would be deemed more “NBA”ready, pro scouts have more games to evaluate the players. Could you imagine the likes of Derrick Rose, Demarcus Cousins and John Wall had stayed more than a year how much more mature they would have been instead of going through the growing pains of the NBA so early. Anthony Bennett was drafted recently number one overall in the NBA’s 2013 draft class. He had a solid season in his only year in college basketball at UNLV, were he averaged 16.1 points and 8.1 rebounds a game despite only averaging 27.1 minutes a game. He shot 53.3% from the field overall and 37.5% from 3-point range. He was extremely efficient in college, averaging a PER of 28.3. Now on the contrary in his early career in the league has shown that scouts might have gotten it wrong as he has struggled to show the same level of consistency and efficiency. This is where the age limit rule change can be beneficial.
The problem with this age limit is obvious, what happens to those players who don’t want to stay that long? Or those who get injured while being forced to stay an extra year? I fear if the age limit is increased we might see more players go the route Brandon Jennings of the Detroit Pistons went. Brandon Jennings rather than go to college decided to go pro in the Italian professional league. Jennings decision helped him because it taught him how to be a professional basketball player and make money at the same time.
Personally I think the age limit is stupid, we already know those good enough to go straight to the pros from high school or those who don’t need to stay 2 years at college. In order for this amendment to have a chance Adam Silver will have to be an excellent salesman as I don’t see the players association agreeing to the rule change.