NCAA OKs Earlier NBA Draft Opt-Out Date; Change NBA Draft Eligibility Rules?

Submitted by Raoul on April 28th, 2011 at 8:35 PM

A thread I started last week discussed a proposed change to the date for withdrawing from the NBA Draft. An AP story from today says that the NCAA has indeed adopted the change, meaning that beginning with next year, the withdrawal date will be set for the day before the first day of the spring signing period. Had this rule been in effect this year, Darius Morris and other underclassmen contemplating going pro would have had to make their decision by April 12, rather than this year's actual date of May 8.

This change obviously hurts players who would like to get a solid evaluation of their NBA Draft prospects before entering the draft, and I also don't buy the coaches' argument that this will really help them replace players leaving early given that so many players have already made their college choices by the spring.

Perhaps the coaches should get behind a possible change to NBA Draft eligibility mentioned in a article:

While it is little more than conjecture at this point, the common thought is that, under the next CBA, players will once again have the right to enter the NBA Draft directly out of high school but, should a player opt to go to school, he will be required to stay at least two, possibly three, years before becoming draft eligible. In essence, the NBA would implement a plan similar to that of Major League Baseball, which allows players to be drafted out of high school but, if they attend a four-year college, the must complete their junior season or be at least 21 years of age before becoming draft eligible again.
If the NBA adopted the MLB draft eligibility rules--particularly with the requirement that players stay through their junior season--the coaches would obviously have a greater degree of certainty about their roster from year to year. The author of the Hoopsworld article argues that such a change could mean "the end of the mid-major" in terms of their prominence in college basketball because the Kentuckys and OSUs of the sport would no longer suffer from yearly roster upheavals from one-and-doners. I guess I'd take my chances with that if it meant that I knew that Darius Morris or Tim Hardaway was definitely going to be at Michigan for three years. Would this be unfair to the players, though?



April 28th, 2011 at 9:43 PM ^

well it could honestly go either way with being unfair or not.  But my feeling is that this is pushing more kids to stay and get their degrees, a la Chris Duhon, rather than "going to school" for one year where they probably don't get much of anything done.  It also leaves players the option so if they choose to they do not have to go through any college.  Overall I believe its pretty fair both ways.


April 28th, 2011 at 9:51 PM ^

it would make the notion of a student-athlete less of an embarrassing sham, and so helps those that can't make it professionally. but it does so at a cost to those who could make it professionally, in that their talents will be exploited for the profit of their university for a longer period of time, during which they can't cash in themselves. 


April 29th, 2011 at 1:27 AM ^

This is a good point, but setting general amateurism complaints aside, keeping more players in school will probably benefit those who don't make it in the NBA even after being drafted. A player who gets a career-ending injury will likely be better of with a couple of years' worth of college credits and related experience/benefits than with only one totally blown off year.


April 28th, 2011 at 11:15 PM ^

I think that making players stay in college for three years would improve the quality of play in both college and the NBA. As of right now, players with lots of potential are bolting early before they develop and before they are ready for the next level. And while it would possibly minimize mid-majors, I think it would make the power conferences deeper because Kentucky and Duke could no longer pick up 2-4 top 25 players, since they wouldn't be able to find playing time for everyone.


April 29th, 2011 at 12:02 AM ^

1)  Look at your MLB example.  The rule has done nothing to make NCAA baseball "top heavy";  smaller schools in the South and West are very succesful.  Granted NCAA baseball is more evenly spread by the lack of full scholarships than anything else, but if anything, having top programs "lose out" at the last minute by getting their best recruit poached by the pro league could help the mid-majors.

2)  Yes, the big dogs would likely field "better teams" due to the removal of constant one-n-done upheaval.  However, those teams would still be missing the most premier players, which one-n-done or not, are not accessible to the smaller schools.  Ex) Ask the rest of the SEC if they'd have rather played Kentucky with or without John Wall...

I think it's best for all of college hoops to have such a rule like the MLB rule, or the NFL one.  It's good for the integrity of the game.  It will likely also help prevent recruiting violation temptations, the kind that soon-to-be millionaires currently only one year removed from their fortunes (and out of the rath of the NCAA) would look for.


April 29th, 2011 at 1:26 AM ^

If a rule like MLB has gets adopted I could see the D-League becoming much more important for the NBA. I wonder what effect this would have on college basketball. Would talented high schoolers still go to college knowing they are locked in to a commitment? Or would they go to the D league and concentrate on nothing but basketball until ready to make the jump?


April 29th, 2011 at 8:13 AM ^

I don't really follow pro basketball, so I'm not sure about this: Are you saying that the D-League isn't currently an actual path into the NBA and isn't the equivalent of baseball's minor leagues? It seems like a true basketball minor league needs to exist for the MLB draft rules to work in the basketball world. If high school basketball players had the option of trying to get to the NBA through a minor league, then I wouldn't have a problem with forcing those who choose the college path to stay on that path for at least three years.

One other issue with translating the MLB draft rules to basketball: Would high school seniors have to declare their intent to go pro by a certain date? Would college basketball coaches face a new problem--high school players who commit to their college and then later decide to go pro?


April 29th, 2011 at 10:23 AM ^

It's called Europe, and it's precisely why it's becoming more popular with US highschoolers and undrafted college players. 

I too would argue that the D league, in it's present form is really not a viable pathway.  Honestly, how many guys can you name that actually made it up to the NBA and became serous caliber players (especially in comparison to the number of Europe/World players)?

 The problem is that NBA teams are so much smaller and can replentish themselves sufficiently off of the best of each year's crop.  There's really no need to "develop" anyone, hence no "real" value to the D league.

And yes, there'd have to be a declare date...


April 29th, 2011 at 10:45 AM ^

But have any significant number of U.S. highschoolers gone to Europe and then made their way to the NBA? If not, then Europe really isn't functioning as a minor league for them.

I know a lot of U.S. college players end up in Europe after graduating, but that seems to be just a way for them to make a living for several years playing basketball rather than being an opportunity to play their way into the NBA.


April 29th, 2011 at 3:01 AM ^

One thing to consider is that kids could still leave after a year to play overseas or some other league. Also the NBA could incentivize going to college by giving 18 year olds less money or force them to play for less in the minor leagues until they are called up. This way kids that are ready to play NBA ball out of high school would have a chance to make an NBA team but if they weren't ready but still declared they would be stuck in the dleague with less pay for a few years.


April 29th, 2011 at 9:22 AM ^

i hate the one and done with all the top college players. it's pointless to make them go to school for one year. that being said, this all-or-nothing kind of approach would definitely sink more than a few promising athletes who really need a year or two to develop in college, but opt to go straight for the money out of high school. and you can't really blame an 18 year old when someone is waving millions of dollars at them. i'd like to see a 2 year college minimum for everyone, but that's probably not going to happen.

Desmonlon Edwoodson

April 29th, 2011 at 10:06 AM ^

Sorry for the hijack, but I've got questions that dont deserve their own thread...

Is Darius in NJ right now?  Any flight trackers in the house?  I know there are big workouts May 7 and 40 some players by invite only?  Anyone know for sure if Darius was invited?  But didn't I hear there was an open workout this weekend too?  Someone said something about the last weekend of April.  It sounds like Morris is sick of people telling him he's not ready.  We need to change tactics.  Its time for straight-up groveling.  Anyone care to organize a "Please Dont Go" rally?


April 29th, 2011 at 2:48 PM ^

You sure about that? Every article I've read says that players have to be specifically invited to the workout in New Jersey. And that only about 40 players are going to be in attendance. Some NBA team has to pay to get the players to these workouts and to cover their expenses while they're there. I don't think they're going to do that for every player who has declared for the draft. Plus I believe that some seniors and international players were also going to be invited, so that further limits the number of underclassmen who could attend.


April 29th, 2011 at 3:31 PM ^

but I did read somewhere that both underclassman and seniors were invited. You may be right about them not wanting to pay for everyone but I'm sure they wouldn't turn a prospect away if they paid their own way. It will be a massive workout with 5 on 5's and with measurements and athleticism tests it might be even better than Chicago this year.


April 29th, 2011 at 5:05 PM ^

Chad Ford has confirmed that Darius Morris will be at the May 7-8 workout in New Jersey. From his twitter feed:

Players confirmed at workout include Reggie Jackson, Tyler Honeycutt, Darius Morris, Tu Holloway, Corey Joseph, Isaiah Thomas, Scotty Hopson

By the way, his tweets make it pretty clear--to me at least--that you need an invite to attend the workout.

It looks like about 35 players have accepted invitations and another five haven't decided yet. About two dozen declined invites.

Yinka Double Dare

April 29th, 2011 at 11:54 AM ^

If they fully wanted to do the MLB rule (and if they're going to force the guy to stay 3 years, then they should take the whole system), then high schoolers would have the right to enter the draft and reject their contract offer from the drafting team and still go to college.  I don't think that's what they have in mind for basketball.