By TIM REYNOLDS , AP Basketball Writer
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wants the NBA’s draft-eligibility rules changed.
To what, he isn’t sure.
Less than a month away from a draft where about 20 players who completed just one year of college will be welcomed into the league, Silver expects the so-called “one-and-done” rule to be modified — somehow — before too long. But in saying that, Silver also acknowledged that even he isn’t certain what makes the most sense going forward.
“My sense is it’s not working for anyone,” Silver said Thursday night before Game 1 of the NBA Finals. “It’s not working for the college coaches and athletic directors I hear from. They’re not happy with the current system. And I know our teams aren’t happy either, in part because they don’t necessarily think the players who are coming into the league are getting the kind of training that they would expect to see.”
It’s been just over a decade since the NBA and the players union agreed on a rule in that says players either need to be 19 years old or be one year removed from high school before being eligible for the draft. There are arguments for raising the minimum age to 20, there are arguments for getting rid of the rule altogether.
Silver said he expects to have more talks in the coming months with the union about the topic.
“I think we all agree that we need to make a change,” Silver said. “As I’ve said before, our position, at least our formal position, going into bargaining was that we wanted to raise the minimum age from 19 to 20, and of course their formal position was they want to lower the age from 19 to 18.
“I think it’s one of those issues that we need to come together and study.”
There were six rookies this season who averaged 10 points per game or more; none were teenagers. One of the advantages that could come from raising the age minimum to 20 would be that players may be more ready for the pro game. Silver said he has talked to many veteran players, who have a sense that the 19-year-olds “are not coming in game-ready.”