The NBA is in new hands following David Stern's retirement this past week, and new commissioner Adam Silver's plate will certainly be full over the next few offseasons.
The league has moved toward more restrictive spending under the current collective bargaining agreement, and the topic of one-and-done college players has only fueled the debate regarding the league's age limit. Some say the limit should be dropped back down to 18, thus permitting high schoolers to enter the draft once again.
“I could see no cap and everybody doing what you want to do,” he said. “Baseball does it. If you want to go out and spend $200 million on your team (payroll), go ahead and do it.
“It can't guarantee that you're going to win, but why not? If you've got the money to do it, why not?
“There shouldn't be a cutoff on what people want to spend for their teams, but there should be a minimum that have to spend, so you definitely put a good product on the floor.”
It seems as if Marion has no issue with playing the contrarian role. He also suggested that the league should consider adding a pair of European teams overseas.
The cap-less league would certainly be an entertaining one—for teams like New York, Miami, Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Lakers. For the other 26 or so clubs unable to compete with nine-figure deals for top-flight players, well, tough luck.
It's also important to remember that of last season's final four remaining playoff teams, three (Indiana, Memphis and San Antonio) came from small markets. That was the league's goal when preparing the current CBA, and it appears to have gotten its wish.
Marion's tips didn't end there. He laid one last suggestion down, just in case the new commissioner happened to be listening.
“I think the age requirement for coming into the league should be higher,” he said.
“It should be at least two years (out of high school),” Marion said. “Two to three years, minimum.”
Such a limit would have the likes of Trey Burke, Ben McLemore and Anthony Davis still enrolled in classes this season. On the flip side, maybe Marion's plan would've came in handy for guys like Cavaliers' rookie Anthony Bennett.
Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk weighed in with his assessment, breaking down exactly why the league may side with Marion here.
Also, a player doesn’t develop faster in college — he is limited in his practice hours by the NCAA and plays against inferior competition, plus the coaching isn’t as consistent. You develop and mature in college (and it’s a great experience) but you don’t improve faster as a player than you would in the NBA, where hoops becomes your full time job. Basically the NBA owners just would like to have someone else develop their players and not on their dime.
The Matrix's voice may not be of the popular variety, but at least Commissioner Silver knows he has someone that's not afraid to lend a suggestion or two.