NBA commissioner Adam Silver is a big proponent of changing the age minimum from 19 to 20 years old, and that is stance that former Kentucky forward Julius Randle does not hold the same belief, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Randle played one season at Kentucky where he averaged 15.0 point and 10.4 rebounds, and was a major part of his team’s deep run in the NCAA Tournament that went all the way to the National Championship game against UConn. The 19-year-old like many of the other players in this year’s draft, has chosen to leave for the NBA after his freshman year and that is a decision he feels each player should be able to make on their own.
“I think everybody should have free choice, whether it’s [going to the NBA after] high school, college, four years of college,” Randle said after his pre-draft workout with the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. “Who is going to tell the kid when he’s ready? So I think everybody should have a free choice, but I know the commissioner and he’s done a great job so far, and I think he’ll do what’s best for the league.”
The age minimum has been a hot topic of discussion over the past couple of seasons and even more so during a recent news conference that Silver held prior to Game 2 of the NBA Finals. However for there to be change the players’ association would have to agree to it, which may be a hurdle given many of the league’s best players such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Love have all either attended college for one year or came into the league straight out of high school.
Randle’s viewpoint is one that many of his peers may share as it is the player who truly knows if they are ready to make the jump to the NBA. If they leaves after one year at the collegiate level does not mean necessarily mean they are more likely to fail at the professional than a player who stays for multiple years in college. It is more on the individual and his ability that will determine his success at the next level.
With the NBA draft nearing, the discussion about the age minimum rule will continue to be a hot issue moving forward for the NBA.
Photo Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports