NBA Age Related Draft Mess: A Possible Solution, Finally!

Mark HauserCorrespondent IIJune 19, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 30: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the hoop against Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 30, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

I am pretty sure that this will be the shortest article that I will ever write. 

As you know, a person has to be 19 years-old during the calender year of the NBA draft to be eligible. This was done to prevent delusional kids from tying to go straight from high school to the pros. 

Some people think 18 years-old should be eligible for the draft, other like the current rule, some want it to raised to age 20 or at least two years of college, and some people want the players to play at least three years of college. 

I look at the pro and cons of all of these and I find them all unsatisfactory. 

Apparently, you have to protect kids from dumb decisions, but I think there should be a way for a phenom like LeBron James to enter at 18 if he is ready—which he was. 

Hence, I have a compromised solution and here it is: Raise the rule to 20 years-old, but allow 18 and 19 year olds to petition for an exception to the rule. If they are turned down at 18, they could still reapply at age 19. 

The acceptance of their petition would be determined by, say, a 20 or 25 member NBA committee with, say, a 2/3 or 3/4 approval. The committee could consist of a mix of players, coaches (pro and college), general managers, David Stern himself or other league executives, and scouts.


I have two questions for you

1) What do you think of my proposed solution?

2) Should I be David Stern's replacement when he retires? (I have a law degree!)