NBA Draft: Why the age limit should not be lowered

NBA Draft Zion Williamson (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
NBA Draft Zion Williamson (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Contrary to popular belief, we explore why the NBA Draft age limit should not be lowered moving forward

All it took was a Grade 1 knee injury to turn the NBA age limit into a water cooler topic. There have been other knee injuries to college players, but this knee injury happened to a top prospect for this upcoming 2019 NBA Draft.

Despite that, though, I do not believe that the NBA age limit should be lowered at all.

Let me tell you why.

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When the young players go to the league at a young age, the emotional maturity that these players show is not on the same level as a grown man. The 19 or 20 year old player does not know what it takes to be a professional.

The fresh out of high school kid has a lot to learn about preparing themselves for games or even a professional practice. The players are ignorant about how to properly train on the professional level.

Some of you will say that is what the individual team coaching staff is for. Well, let me throw this out there. The basic knowledge that the kids come about the NBA game is severely limited. These players have grown up in the AAU system where the players have got to many pats on the back and not enough training teaching.

The NBA is a job. Other players, who are older, are trying to take your job. It puts these young players at a disadvantage which could create confidence problems that they are not ready to deal with at 18, 19, or 20 years old. Going to college for a year or two lets these players get a head start on developing their game for the NBA.

Success is limited

It is easy to understand why these young basketball players would want the NBA age limit to be abolished. These players want to start providing for the families. The players want to take advantage of what having millions of dollars can do for them.

Pump the brakes a bit with thinking all these high school players would be making mega-millions.

For every Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, or LeBron James there are stories like Kwame Brown, Jonathan Bender, or Darius Miles whose professional career was cut short by their inability to adapt to the professional game.

The success that any player, young or older have in the NBA is limited. Only a select few reach the top of mountain in terms of success and money.

A year in college could help these players develop that work ethic that is needed to better prepare the young players for rigors of the NBA. Which in the end, would help these players reach the level of success that they all strive to attain.

Helps the NBA

The NBA age limit helps the league. These teams are in the business to make money, not waste it. If these young prospects are required to stay in school a year or two it gives NBA scouts the ability to really assess whether these players are worthy of an NBA jersey. Like I said before, for every player that is named Kobe, KG, or LeBron there are the “can’t miss prospects” that turned into organizational busts, put ticket prices in the dumpster, and made the teams uncompetitive for many seasons.

The fantastic freshmen at Duke have got better because of the guidance and coaching they have received from the entire basketball staff at Duke. You can not deny that. The Duke freshmen that turn pro after this season will be better prepared to play at the professional level.

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In the end, these high school players that think they are ready for the professional game are probably kidding themselves. Having an NBA age limit for players allows them to gain mental maturity, improve their work ethic, and lets them learn how to take better care of their bodies. It benefits the players and the NBA in the long term.