And it would give plenty for players coming out of high school to consider: Do I want to start making some money now and get more specific on-the-job training, or do I go to college for at least two years, benefit from the environment and the education, and then make my NBA decision? That could be a strong move, because Silver would be helping some players get more NBA-ready while also helping the college game, which he's not responsible for, but it would be a nice bonus.
Actually, that's a trick question, not a bonus question, because the answer is "You can't." So why should Silver focus on barricading the paths they took to the NBA when high-school-to-the-pros and one-and-done served both the players and the league so well? Silver also shouldn't make it easier for the NCAA to continue its morally unjustifiable practice of amateurism.
Now if Silver wants to provide an incentive for players to stay in school, raising the rookie-scale salaries for players who wait to come into the league -- as I discussed with you last year -- is another story. But artificially forcing the next versions of Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony to play somewhere besides the NBA is not what the league needs most. And playing in the D-league doesn't give them the TV exposure they'd get in college, which makes them less marketable even when they do reach the NBA.
" Silver's biggest challenge will be finding revenue streams to generate return on investment for this wave of owners who bought in at $300 million and up.
" -- J.A. Adande
If they are high school graduates and they're ready, they should be allowed to enter the workforce, just like the rest of our society. Again, players should be encouraged, not forced, to be in college.
Another rule Silver could implement that might keep some players in school longer is the draft wheel. Knowing in advance which teams hold the top picks could lead a player to hold off a year to get to a team he prefers. I'm in favor of giving players more control of their careers.
I'm also in favor of spreading No. 1 picks around. Did you know that the Grizzlies, Bobcats, Nuggets, Jazz, Suns, Timberwolves and Pacers have never picked first in the NBA draft? Neither have the Celtics, Heat or erstwhile SuperSonics, although it didn't keep them from hanging banners. The main benefit of the wheel, of course, is that it eliminates tanking. Silver would never hear the topic come up at a news conference again.
Israel: How is entering the D-League not allowing them to enter the work force? They'd be getting paid and working on their craft. How is this wildly different than Major League Baseball, other than the idea that basketball players are more ready for the pros at 18 than baseball players. But that's only because we focus on the successful phenoms. For every Kobe, there was a Korleone Young.