The debate about the NBA’s age limit will wage on forever.
The way the rule is currently structured, NBA prospects have to spend at least a year in college regardless of whether or not an NBA team would be willing to draft them as 18 year olds. There is currently a push, led by new commissioner Adam Silver, to extend that age limit to 20, forcing players to spend two seasons at the collegiate level.
The reasons why make good business sense. If NBA owners are going to be investing millions of dollars into a player, they want to make sure that they do their due diligence in scouting the athlete. The more time the player spends in college, the more time NBA organizations have to decide whether, for example, Joel Embiid will be the next Hakeem Olajuwon or the next Greg Oden or if Andrew Wiggins is going to be the second-coming of Scottie Pippen or another Rudy Gay.
It also reduces the amount of money the teams have to spend on development. The number of kids that can contribute significant minutes to an NBA team immediately out of high school are miniscule. LeBron did. Kevin Durant probably would have been able to. Beyond that, even the elite prospects need a couple years worth of seasoning before they’re really ready to be a starter. Force them to spend two seasons in college, and you’re drafting players more likely to play immediately instead of funding their development.
From a business perspective, it makes sense.
But that doesn’t make it right.
Take it away, Pablo: