As you may have heard, the Adam Silver on Wednesday talked with Colin Cowherd of FS1 and openly discussed reforming the NBA draft. The conversation was a very candid discussion about the NBA’s realization that the “one-and-done” setup is simply not working. If you haven’t watched it, you should definitely go here and watch it. It’s a bit refreshing to see the Commissioner being candid.
But what does this all mean? Nothing in the immediate future. For now, it’s simply a reconsideration with no specific plan in place. Any decision to change the “one-and-done” rule would require the Players’ Association’s agreement. The current CBA can be opted out of after the 2022-2023 season and it may very well take that long for a solution to be crafted and agreed upon.
That said, the NBA and Players’ Association should take this extended opportunity to really consider changing the draft process beyond merely eliminating the college/age requirement. Colin Cowherd wanted the Development League to be a place for young players to develop. Right now most teams (including the Clippers) are not really effective at developing young talent into NBA-capable players. The ability to do so would require even more investment by the NBA into developing a legitimate minor league system. Otherwise teams will be left with the current process of essentially rolling the dice on young players in the NBA Lottery and hoping they pan out. However, the track record of highly rated high school players translating to the NBA remains haphazard at best.
Adam Silver has also pointed out that the number of players leaving college after one year is spiking. Silver expected as many as twenty players will do so in the upcoming draft. Yet there’s only sixty draft slots in the current draft. It would make a lot of sense for the NBA to expand the size of rosters and the number of rounds in the draft to enable teams to have more opportunity to keep and develop players. Teams need an incentive to invest in players. This may however require the Players’ Association to relent to the introduction of minor league contracts that subject players to longer team control.
For now, only time will tell how the future of developing young superstars will be conducted.