Old man Steve Kerr wants to change the NBA's age limit again
Sure, there are guys like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Garnett who are fashioning Hall of Fame careers after skipping college, but those are few and far between.
Currently, players need to spend at least one year after high school honing their skills. Whether they're one-and-done in college, like Kevin Durant, or they go to Europe for a season like Brandon Jennings, they need to wait at least one year before entering the NBA.
Former Chicago Bulls sharpshooter, former Phoenix Suns GM and current TNT analyst Steve Kerr thinks the league needs to make one more tweak to the system.
In a piece written for ESPN's blog site Grantland, Kerr outlines exactly why he believes the league should go with an age limit of 20 years old.
His main points: Player maturity, financial costs, player development, marketing, a sense of team, and mentoring.
Some of those definitely provide stronger arguments than others. Yes, players tend to develop more when they're brought up gradually through a strong college system, under the tutelage of a great NCAA coach. But what about guys like Bryant, James, and Garnett, who clearly didn't need such development?
In terms of marketing, the league is marketed extremely well already. Kerr points out John Wall and Kyrie Irving as examples of #1 overall picks who weren't allowed to stay in school long enough to rile up sufficient excitement when they were drafted, as compared to guys like Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson or Larry Bird.
The thing is, Irving and Wall aren't Patrick Ewing, and the Wizards and Cavaliers aren't the 1985 Knicks. Cavs fans were still devastated over the loss of LeBron James, but at some point, they'll rally behind Irving. The kid will be really good, and they'll build a winning team around him. In Washington, however, there's far less of a reason to be excited. I'm not convinced that John Wall is the franchise player they need, and they are still a long way away from being a legit contender. Then again, they haven't been a legit contender for years. Again, this isn't the Knicks, and DC isn't NYC.
Kerr's idea isn't an awful one, but the issue isn't necessarily the age limit. As we all know, there are guys who can handle entering the league early, and there are guys who can't. There are also guys who could spend as long as they want developing into a better player, and they'll never truly be NBA ready.
The problem is with NBA GMs, who want to gamble on guys that they're not sure of, and are willing to mortgage the future by drafting a guy that seems to have unlimited potential.
If GMs can stay responsible and draft wisely, we won't have to worry about guys getting drafted far before they're ready. Then again, there's a reason they're drafting in the lottery. And it's not because they've been drafting intelligently.