One shortcoming I have as a lifetime Southerner is a total lack of familiarity with the NHL draft. Fortunately, that’s what we have Michigan bloggers for. Brian Cook has an interesting response to Mark Cuban’s whining about the one-and-done rule:
There is a solution here. It’s easy, actually: the NBA moves to an NHL-style draft where any relevant player is automatically inserted at 18. This preserves their eligibility. The NBA then allows teams to sign draftees but forces them to guarantee contracts one year longer than their eligibility would last (IE, signing a guy out of HS: five year contract, freshman 4 years, etc) except in the case of graduating seniors, who are owed nothing.
If there’s a five-round draft, say, that
- increases NCAA popularity as NBA fans check out their prospects,
- reduces bad NBA contracts for unready or plain overrated prospects,
- encourages the NBA to sign guys when they’re ready and only then,
- allows LeBron-type prospects to immediately hit the NBA like they deserve to.
That is a vast improvement on the current system and 1000% more fun than anything Mark Cuban’s come up with.
The more I think about it, the more I find this pretty damned clever. It neatly gets around the absence of a legitimate minor-league alternative to the college game, lets some kids get paid, gives a nod to cost control for the pros and to some extent allows player development to proceed at its own pace.
Assuming the NCAA could live with it, here’s my question: why wouldn’t that work for the NFL, too?