Prior to Game 2 of the NBA Finals, league commissioner Adam Silver addressed the media and took some time to discuss the future. He again suggested interest in changing the NBA's "one and done rule," this time suggesting the Players Union might be willing to have a serious discussion about it, according to tweets from Yahoo! Sports Marc J. Spears and KOMO Seattle reporter Jon Humbert:
Silver says there "is a little bit of movement" in changing the one and done rule.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) June 8, 2014
NBA commissioner Adam Silver: union willing to talk about ending "one and done" rule.— Jon Humbert (@jonhumbert) June 8, 2014
As it currently stands, the rule requires draft prospects to be at least 19 years old and one year removed from high school. As Forbes' Darren Heitner notes:
It is no secret that the NBA wishes to end the one-and-done rule and replace it with a version that requires basketball players to be at least two years removed from high school before entering the NBA Draft.
The NCAA isn't a fan of the rule either, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com):
NCAA president Mark Emmert said during his annual news conference Sunday that he is in 'vocal opposition' to the rule established by the NBA and its union that requires players be at least one year removed from high school before declaring for the NBA draft.
The current collective bargaining agreement can be renegotiated in 2017.
At that point, the one-and-done rule may not be the only thing up for discussion. Silver also mentioned the possibility of a "hard cap," which would set a categorical limit on how much teams could spend on their players. The move could potentially ruffle some feathers within the Players Association, given that its ultimate effect would be to reduce salaries across the board.
Adam Silver mentioning a "hard cap" after the Clippers went for $2 billion.... well, that won't go over well with the players— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 8, 2014
Currently, the NBA uses a "soft cap" which can be exceeded through a variety of mechanisms like the mid-level exception. That means teams can go over the salary cap in some circumstances.
Adam Silver saying the words "hard cap" = immediate flashbacks to being in hotel ballrooms until 4 a.m. 2017 isn't far enough away.— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 8, 2014
Silver is clearly looking ahead.
Despite dealing with the Donald Sterling sideshow, the new commissioner continues to develop a vision for the league's future. Now the question is to what extent the league and its players can arrive at an agreement. Much as the league may be due for some change, no one wants to see another lockout before getting there.
The 2011 lockout revolved around a number of issues, but the owners' push for a hard cap was one of them. At the time, Silver told reporters:
Frankly, we're having trouble understanding why the label of a hard cap is what's breaking apart these negotiations right now, and that's what we discussed for a long time as a committee and then discussed together with the players.
The owners eventually softened their stance, instead arriving at the ultra-punitive luxury tax that's in effect now.