Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NBA/NCAA: Two And Done Up Next?

Several high-ranking NBA team executives told Yahoo! Sports they wouldn’t be surprised if the age limit in the new CBA is pushed to two years in college and 20 years old by the end of that calendar year. One NBA general manager says about two-thirds of teams are in favor of that change.

The current CBA (which expires in June) states that an American must be out of high school for at least one year and be 19-years-old by the end of that calendar year before entering the draft.

Austin Rivers, a Duke-bound shooting guard, says he is in no rush to leave for the NBA, but is disappointed about potentially losing the opportunity to make a choice.

“I don’t think it’s fair to a lot of guys who are ready to go,” Rivers said Thursday after practice at the Nike Hoop Summit. “We’re going to have guys in our class that are going to be ready to play after one year. 

There are certain people that are able to make that jump and you’re trying to tell them they can’t make that jump and they have to wait another year, risk another injury or something like that? At the end of the day it should be up to the player. It’s his life. It’s his choice. …

“You got baseball kids coming out of high school. [Basketball players] at least have to go to college, which we should. High school kids should go to college and get an education. But from there you should let them decide whether they are one or not.”

(Those 18-year-olds, they’ve got it all figured out, don’t’ they?)

Rivers and LeBryan Nash
Rivers would be a top-10 prospect if eligible for this year’s draft and the No. 1 prospect next year, said two NBA general managers. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound guard averaged 30 points as a senior for Winter Park High (Fla.) this season.

Doc Rivers has coached high school-to-pro players such as Gerald Green, Kendrick Perkins and Sebastian Telfair.  He calls their journey to the NBA a “tough life.” But if the old (in the NBA draft straight out of high school) rules were in place and Austin was eligible to go pro now, what would he suggest to his son?

“I agree with the limit and I think it’s good for the kid to mature. College is important for the simple fact that for the first time in your life you’re alone with no money and you got to figure it out. I always thought it will help me and help all these kids. But if you’re good enough and someone wants them now, it’s tough to argue against that as well. I can see both sides,” the elder Rivers said.

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