Upon watching the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four Championship Game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Kansas State Wildcats, NBA Commissioner David Stern stated his desire for the NBA draft’s age requirements to be increased a year.
As it stands, players must be 19 years of age and one year out of high school before entering the draft. This means that many players, like Champion Kentucky’s freshman forward Player of the Year and Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, Anthony Davis, will most likely leave college for the NBA after just one year of college.
In the past five years, the first pick out of the draft have all been college freshmen. Greg Oden went to the Portland Trail Blazers, Derrick Rose to the Chicago Bulls, John Wall to the Washington Wizards, and Kyrie Irving to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It is highly speculated that, if he were to so choose to enter the draft, Davis would be the first pick.
Players are not required to go to college, but the point of waiting a year is for teams to be able to see how players go up against more high-caliber players before committing to them in the draft. College play in the NCAA is a good way to scout and for players to demonstrate their skills and talent, but players have also chosen to play in the D-League or in Europe as well. The rule was implemented in 2005 and has been met with positive feedback, but Stern would like to add a year for increased player growth and development.
This year’s NBA Lockout has postponed any major conversations about this development, but as things begin to smooth out, it will certainly be a hot topic in the upcoming years. Colleges, players, NBA teams, and scouts will all be in on the conversations.