Commissioner Adam Silver has gone on the record about his desire to raise the NBA’s age minimum to 20 years old. Rules instituted in the collective bargaining agreement stipulate that players must be at least 19 during the calendar year in which the draft takes place to be eligible, effectively forcing U.S. players to spend at least one year in college — or the D-League or overseas — and creating the maligned “one-and-done” phenomenon. Several college coaches have expressed their support of an increased age minimum – including Kentucky’s John Calipari, whose program has thrived in recent years thanks to a steady supply of future first-round picks making single-season cameos in Lexington. But what do current high school players who may have the opportunity to leave college for the pros after one year think about the possibility of raising the minimum to 20? One such player, center Jahlil Okafor of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, said Tuesday that a 20-year old age limit would be unfair. “I think it’s just withholding a kid’s dreams if they wanted to make that leap to the NBA to help their family or whatever the reason may be,” Okafor said. Okafor, who on Tuesday was named the Morgan Wooten Player of the Year, is the consensus No. 1 player in the class of 2014. Okafor verbally committed to Duke in November and is projected as the No. 1 pick in 2015 by DraftExpress.com. The 6-foot-10, 270-pound center said the potential change concerns him because he may consider leaving college after one year.
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Jahlil Okafor, top recruit in class of 2014: Raising NBA’s age limit unfair to players
SI | Mar 27