At least on the surface it is.
I understand most people aren’t the biggest fans of the NCAA as an entity, even though a lot of people still enjoy college basketball. If you hate how young stars are restricted by this one-and-done rule and think they should get paid, looks like you’re getting your wish.
But this is not good news for the product the NBA puts out on the court.
How often did we se a LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett pan out like those three? There have been 44 players drafted directly out of high school straight to the NBA.
Of those 10 have been selected to at least one All-Star game. Sure you had some guys who weren’t all-stars but built solid careers – Josh Smith, Al Jefferson and J.R. Smith – but you also had MASSIVE busts with guys like Darius Miles, Sebastian Telfair and Kwame Browne.
The NBA draft is almost meaningless after the 10th pick (which is me being conservative). You’ll get random stars that blossom late (i.e. Draymond Green), but it doesn’t happen often.
If the idea of adding high school players is designed to help the draft become deeper, then great. It might make that one night more entertaining.
But how many high school guys are going to be able to hang with the Eric Gordon’s or Danny Greene’s of the world, never mind the perennial superstars?
The league itself would be better off making players play at least 2 or 3 years and develop their game.
All that being said, there is a way this could work perfectly for the NBA’s competitiveness and the players — and I guess the fans, too.
Stash these players away in the G League.
If need be, expand the draft a round so you can get reasonable organizational players (fillers, if you will) and give these younger guys, whether they be young college players or straight from high school, a chance to bring their game to the next level.
It’s the one thing the NBA could actually learn from Major League Baseball. They have a ton of high school players come through their systems. Some work out, some don’t, but they do everything they can to turn that player into a contributing member of the team. Plus the investment doesn’t directly effective the big league club if things don’t work out.
Better product, the kids get paid, everyone wins.
Not sure if they’ll do it, but it would certainly turn this bad idea into a great move.