Rule change may allow 18 year olds to play in NBA

Chris Samuel, Contributor

If someone can run with the professionals, age shouldn’t be a factor right?

A new idea for the NBA is lowering the draft eligibility age from 19 to 18. This would get rid of the “one and done rule”.

While it might sound wonderful to draft prospects, it is not guaranteed that their arrival will be a quick success.

For a little over a decade, college basketball has seen hundreds of cases where a superstar or even an average player does just one year in college and declares for the NBA Draft. This act is called the “one and done rule”, in which a college basketball player is required to play at least one year in college or be at least one year removed from high school.

Notable players that have played only one year in college include Kevin Durant, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and a bevy of others. All of those players have multiple All-Star appearances but only a small group of one and done players pan out to be perennial All-Stars.

With the new idea floating around, certain players don’t have to worry about college at all. Talent and size is a much bigger deal in this era and many feel if you are a generational talent, you shouldn’t have to wait to be a professional.

LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Garnett are those generational high school players who benefitted from the previous rule of high school player jumping straight to the league.

The perfect example of someone who could have benefitted from the potential rule change is Duke freshman phenom, Zion Williamson. Williamson is listed at 6’7, 285 pounds and is a physical freak of nature.

Many experts and analysts believe he’s the reason why the one and done rule is on the way out.

“There’s never been a player like him. He’s not the best player I’ve seen, but I’ve never seen anybody like him. He’s ridiculous,” said ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas.

Williamson is projected to be the number one overall pick in the NBA Draft this June, but due to his freakish talent, the NBA will look into letting high-schoolers be pros again as he clearly is dominating the college landscape.

Williamson’s coach, Mike Krzyzewski once said in a USA Today Sports interview.

“I would totally be for kids being able (to go to the NBA) and have always been in favor of kids being able to go right to the pros. And not putting any restrictions on them as to how long they have to stay. I think that’s not right”.

Studies have shown the growth and overall strength of 18-year-olds have increased exponentially from about 20 to 30 years ago. Arguments are always made over certain players and whether or not they should even play in college due to their otherworldly talents.

Neither James, Bryant or Garnett were All-Stars in their rookie seasons, and it is not a popular trend either. For a player 18 or 19, most NBA players, coaches, and analysts look at the player as just a “kid” and not quite mature mentally. The supreme talent is there but in the NBA, only the strong survive mentally.