Adam Silver Talks 1-and-Done Rule, Playoff Seeding at NBA All-Star Weekend

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2018

National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the media during All-Star basketball game festivities, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver appeared at his annual All-Star Weekend press conference Saturday and said the league is "conflicted" about changing the one-and-done rule.

"We're conflicted, to be honest. We're outside of our cycle of collective bargaining right now, which is when we generally address an issue like that," he said. "But [NBPA executive director] Michele Roberts and I have also agreed there's no reason we shouldn't at least be discussing it right now. ...

"We think we have a better draft when we've had an opportunity to see these young players play at an elite level before they come into the NBA. On the other hand, I think the question for the league is: In terms of their ultimate success, are we better off intersecting with them a little bit younger? Are we better off bringing them into the league when they're 18, using our G League as it was designed to be, as a development league, and getting them minutes on the court there?"

Those comments represent a tonal shift for Silver, who told ESPN's Mike & Mike in November that he thought the rule, which requires players to be at least 19 years old and one year removed from high school to declare for the draft, wasn't working.

"I think something has to change," Silver said, per Sporting News' Mike Decourcy.

He continued:

"It's clearly not working for the college game … From our standpoint, if the players in that one year of college aren't getting the kind of development we like to see them get coming into the NBA, aren't playing in the NCAA Tournament, aren't competing against top-notch competition, I think we have to take a step back and figure out if we're better off taking those players at a younger age and working on their training and development full-time."

Around the same time, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Silver and Roberts met with the Commission on College Basketball, which Condoleezza Rice leads, to discuss eligibility rules.

According to Wojnarowski, there was a "growing belief within the league that Silver's desire to end the one-and-done—the ability of college basketball players to enter the NBA draft after playing one year in college—could be pushing the sport closer to high school players having the opportunity to directly enter the league again."

Saturday's presser also saw Silver touch on the possibility the league may change the postseason format to include the teams with the top 16 records, regardless of conference affiliation.

"That is something that's gotten serious attention," he said, according to the Norman Transcript's Fred Katz.

However, there are several roadblocks.

Silver cited more extensive travel as a primary concern, while the Washington Post's Tim Bontemps noted two-thirds of the league's teams would need to approve the change for the new format to be enacted.

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