Timing is everything. And the latest NBA news has quite the timing.
The NBA submitted a formal proposal to the National Basketball Players Association on Thursday that would lower the required age for draft eligibility from 19 years old, to 18, reports USA Today. Interestingly enough, the proposal comes one day after Duke freshman phenom Zion Williamson suffered a Grade 1 right knee sprain that had NBA players going off on college basketball.
Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins for one, ripped the NCAA the day after Zion's injury.
“Knowing what I know now, college (basketball) is bulls**t,” Cousins said Thursday. “College basketball and the NCAA is bulls**t.”
Cousins is one of three Warriors -- joining Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney -- that went through the NCAA's current one-and-done rule of entering the draft at 19 years old, which was instituted in 2006. The Kings currently have three players -- Marvin Bagley III, Harry Giles and De'Aaron Fox -- who were subject to the same rule.
Obviously, high draft picks like Cousins, Durant, Bagley, and Fox would have had their names called early on draft night coming out of high school, too. But, the same goes for Looney and Giles as well.
Looney was the top player in the class of 2014 coming out of Wisconsin. The power forward was a five-star recruit and a McDonald's All-American, but he had to go to UCLA.
At UCLA, Looney suffered a hip injury, but still averaged 11.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game before the Warriors selected him No. 30 overall in the 2015 draft. Based on potential alone, you can only imagine Looney would have gone higher than the last pick of the first round if he didn't have to go to college.
Giles is a whole different story. Perhaps nobody would have benefited more from going into the draft straight out of high school than Giles. Despite missing his entire sophomore and senior seasons due to knee injuries, he was still the No. 1 high school player in the nation going into college.
Since he had to go to college, Giles attended Duke University, but once again had to undergo knee surgery. He played in 26 games as a freshman, starting only six, and averaged 3.9 points per game. Still, the Kings took him No. 20 overall in the 2017 draft.
Change needs to be done. Lowering the age rules for the draft is one avenue, just like paying athletes who generate millions for colleges, is another.