Allow high school players back in the NBA | Bonehead Picks

Time to bring back high school players into the NBA

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There have been a lot of discussion about the NCAA after more reports from the huge men’s college basketball scandal. The discussion about whether college basketball players should be paid, how to implement a new payment system for college athletes, and other ways to avoid the mass corruption and bribery involving some of the college basketball’s top programs that has been recently revealed. It is hard to avoid the link between the NBA’s age limit restriction that came into effect in 2006 and the NCAA basketball scandal because many of the players who are part of the scandal are “one and done” type college basketball players. The NBA could potentially alleviate some of the issue regarding corruption in college basketball by allowing high school basketball players to enter the NBA draft following their high school graduation once again.

One of the more important last legacies of former NBA commissioner David Stern was the 2005 collective bargaining victory to change the NBA’s eligibility rules that high school players must wait one year after their high school class graduates and must be at least 19 years old to be eligible for the draft. The 2005 NBA Draft was the final NBA Draft to feature high school players and since the 2006 NBA Draft plenty of college freshmen have been drafted into the NBA. Some of the NBA’s best current players are former “one-and-dones” like Kevin Durant, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Anthony Davis but there is a historical track record of talented NBA players who entered the NBA straight after high school.

There have been productive high school players selected throughout the NBA Draft’s history. While highly rated high schoolers like LeBron James and Kevin Garnett will enter the Basketball Hall of Fame after being drafted at or near the top of the NBA Draft, there are other NBA success stories at various points in the NBA Draft. Former NBA players like Al Harrington, Jermaine O’ Neal, and Al Jefferson all had successful NBA careers after being drafted in the mid or late first round of their respective NBA Drafts despite never playing in college. Lou Williams and Rashard Lewis are two former second round NBA Draft picks who played over 10 years in the NBA after entering the NBA out of high school. Giving basketball players the opportunity to become professionals in the NBA again straight after high school would be a good thing for both the NCAA and the NBA.


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