With the 2014 draft going down next Thursday, certain lottery pick Julius Randle will not have to wait much longer to join the NBA. Randle looked NBA-ready throughout his one season with Kentucky, where the 19 year-old averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds (leading the nation in double-doubles) en route to the National Championship game. But if NBA commissioner Adam Silver had his way, future players in Randle’s shoes would not be gearing up for the draft after only one year of college. Instead, they would be headed back to campus, since Silver has made raising the NBA age limit to 20 “a top priority.”
Randle, one of several one-and-done players in this loaded 2014 draft, is not a fan of the idea. He spoke out against the age limit in comments he made to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com after his pre-draft workout with the Lakers on Tuesday.
“I think everybody should have free choice, whether it’s [going to the NBA after] high school, college, four years of college. Who is going to tell the kid when he’s ready? So I think everybody should have a free choice, but I know the commissioner and he’s done a great job so far, and I think he’ll do what’s best for the league.”
Randle is not the only future lottery pick that was forced to go to college for one year before making the jump to the NBA. Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Noah Vonleh, and Aaron Gordon all played in college for only one year. With Randle included that means seven of the top 10 picks in the most recent Draft Express mock will be one-and-done players.
Despite Silver’s intentions to end the one-and-done phenomena, any change to the age limit is still years away. Any change would have to be agreed upon by the NBA Players’ Association (NBAPA) and worked into the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. The current CBA runs through the 2020-21 season but either side can opt out after the 2016-17 season but there haven’t been any discussions just yet.
Silver has also expressed a desire to sit down with the NCAA to discuss the potential change, but seeing how NCAA president Mark Emmert will testify tomorrow in a last-ditch effort to save the NCAA from potential bankruptcy, the NCAA has more pressing concerns at the moment.
In the meantime, we’ll still have several more years of one-and-done players which means that the next batch of tanking NBA teams will be able to set their sights on current high school seniors as potential franchise saviors. Get ready to learn a lot about Emmanuel Mudiay, Knicks fans.
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