NBA To Get More Involved With High School Athletes

 | Grace Higgins

Ever since 2005 when the NBA incorporated their one and done rule, they have had zero contact with high school athletes as they were unable to declare for the NBA draft straight out of high school.

This, in turn, has affected the way that college coaches recruit their players. Unfortunately, it has led to widespread corruption in the NCAA with many programs paying players and violating the amateurism rules that makes college basketball so special.

Over the past month, an FBI probe into college basketball has revealed many programs have been paying premiere players to come and play for them.

An FBI wiretap revealed that Arizona head coach Sean Miller discussed a $100,000 payment to star player DeAndre Ayton. Among others, the FBI probe also revealed a tie between a sports agent and Michigan State star Miles Bridges’ mom.

This does not only fall in college basketball either, many players that are currently in the NBA were found to have accepted payments while they were in college. One of the players is former Kansas star Josh Jackson who currently plays for the Phoenix Suns.

Now, according to ESPN, the NBA may be changing their approach to the one and done rule as a result of everything that has been revealed by the FBI probe:

Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver and several of his top advisers have been engaged in listening tours and information-gathering missions with an array of stakeholders for months. That has included formal meetings with the National Basketball Players Association about adjusting the so-called “one-and-done” age-limit rule. But Silver’s aim is much more comprehensive than simply re-opening the door for 18-year-olds to play in the NBA, sources said.

A plan is expected to include the NBA starting relationships with elite teenagers while they are in high school, providing skills to help them develop both on and off the court. It would ultimately open an alternate path to the NBA besides playing in college and a way 18-year-olds could earn a meaningful salary either from NBA teams or as part of an enhanced option in the developmental G League, sources said.

The NBA is focusing on getting involved in two important periods in which they currently have minimal contact with prospects: the high school years and the time between high school graduation and when a young player is physically and emotionally ready to join the NBA.

This is a step in the right direction to counter all the corruption that has existed in the NCAA recently. The NBA and the NCAA are two organizations that need to work together to resolve this problem.