Sidelines with John Clay

Adam Silver: NBA age limit not changing anytime soon

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a recent interview that he doesn’t expect the NBA age limit of 19 to change soon.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a recent interview that he doesn’t expect the NBA age limit of 19 to change soon. Associated Press

Looks like the one-and-done rule isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver told Bloomberg News that while he wants to move the NBA age limit back to 20, the NBA Players Association leader Michelle Roberts wants to move the limit up to 18. Thus, the compromise of 19 years old will likely remain.

“It is still something I care about,” Silver said. “I’m also a realist. Given that Michele has said her preference would be for an 18-year-old minimum age, my sense is that it’s not something that’s going to change int he short term.

“And by the way, I’ve always said I understand the other side of the issue, about a young man’s opportunity to make a living. But my views has always been that we’d be a better league if players came into the draft at 20 instead of 19.”

No one has made better use of the NBA age limit in recruiting that UK coach John Calipari. Yet even Calipari has said he would like to see the age limit pushed back to 20 so that players would have to spend at least two years in college.

Calipari has had 17 one-and-dones at Kentucky: John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe and Daniel Orton in 2010; Brandon Knight in 2011; Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague in 2012; Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin in 2013; Julius Randle and James Young in 2014; Karl-Anthony Towns, Trey Lyles and Devin Booker in 2015; Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere in 2016.

As Matt Ellentuck of Sports Blog Nation points out, raising the age limit to 20 would cost new players millions of dollars.

“This is also the first opportunity for players to sign a new contract,” he writes. “Even though 19-year-olds average lower win share numbers their rookie year, that doesn’t affect their pay grade. Many first-round picks can play poorly in their first three seasons without much consequence because NBA teams are reluctant to give up on them that quickly. Then, after their third seasons, teams are likely to throw more money their way because they are playing at a similar level to the rookies that enter the league older than them. Coming into the league at 19 doesn’t stunt growth at all.

“That means players are actually at a deficit having to wait another year in which they could have been paid going through their inevitable three-year growth period in the NBA. Even seniors in college aren’t playing league-average ball in their first season.”

Another interesting note in the Silver interview had to do with single-game streaming, which the league experimented with last season.

“We learned it was incredibly popular,” Silver said.

John Calipari draft picks at Kentucky

Year

Player

Rnd

Pick

Team

2010

John Wall

1

1

Washington

2012

Anthony Davis

1

1

New Orleans

2015

Karl-Anthony Towns

1

1

Minnesota

2012

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

1

2

Charlotte

2011

Enes Kanter

1

3

Utah

2010

DeMarcus Cousins

1

5

Sacramento

2013

Nerlens Noel

1

6

New Orleans-c

2015

Willie Cauley-Stein

1

6

Sacramento

2014

Julius Randle

1

7

LA Lakers

2016

Jamal Murray

1

7

Denver

2011

Brandon Knight

1

8

Detroit

2015

Trey Lyles

1

12

Utah

2015

Devin Booker

1

13

Phoenix

2010

Patrick Patterson

1

14

Houston

2014

James Young

1

17

Boston

2010

Eric Bledsoe

1

18

Oklahoma City-a

2012

Terrence Jones

1

18

Houston

2016

Skal Labissiere

1

28

Sacramento

2010

Daniel Orton

1

29

Orlando

2012

Marquis Teague

1

29

Chicago

2013

Archie Goodwin

1

29

Oklahoma City-d

2016

Tyler Ulis

2

34

Phoenix

2012

Doron Lamb

2

42

Milwaukee

2015

Andrew Harrison

2

44

Phoenix-e

2011

Josh Harrellson

2

45

New Orleans-b

2012

Darius Miller

2

46

New Orleans

2015

Dakari Johnson

2

48

Oklahoma City

2011

DeAndre Liggins

2

53

Orlando

a-traded to LA Clippers

b-traded to New York

c-traded to Philadelphia

d-traded to Phoenix

e-traded to Memphis

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