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College hoops still waiting on crucial detail from NBA lockout


Mike Miller

The NBA’s millionaires and billionaires finally agreed to start making money again. It probably won’t officially happen until Christmas Day, which leaves college basketball as the only hoops attention for the next month. (Small cheer.)

I can hear it now? “And? What’s this mean for me, Mike? Can you leave me alone while I watch Florida State and UConn?”

Well, sometime between now and then, those millionaires and billionaires also will agree on what to do about the NBA draft’s minimum-age rule.

See, right now there’s an initial agreement. Plenty of things are still on the table, including the age rule. Here’s the latest from ProBasketballTalk:

In early proposals the owners wanted to move it to age 20 — essentially two-and-dones. The players have said this is something they want to see moved back to age 18. Expect this to move to 20 or stay the same — this is a more important issue for owners. They do not want to go back to scouting high school players again, both for the expense of it and the unpredictability of the picks. The owners like the idea of more college ball during which time players can be evaluated, plus the NCAA hype machine can already start turning them into stars fans want to follow. Both good things for the owners. Which is why they want this more than the players want the issue moved back to age 18.

At worst, it’s a status quo of guys like John Wall and Kyrie Irving playing one season, then taking off. (Some say that’s the more likely scenario.) At best, it’ll be more of what we’ve seen this season where the game’s best players like Harrison Barnes, Jared Sullinger, Terrence Jones and Perry Jones are still playing college hoops.

(Of course, those four choose to stay in school, so it’s not quite the same thing. But you get the point.)

It could be settled by Monday. And it might be the first time I’ve ever looked forward to a Monday.

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