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Tuesday / August 4.
  • Woj says one-and-done could end, but not before 2020

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski says the NBA’s one-and-done rule could end soon, but not before 2020.

    “There is a lot of momentum and enthusiasm on both sides to end the one-and-done and allow high school players back in the NBA but not before 2020,” Woj said Wednesday morning on SportsCenter.

    The Commission on College Basketball recommended Wednesday that the NCAA work with the NBA to lift the one-and-done rule that requires players be at least 19 years old and a year removed from high school to be draft eligible. That rule dates back to 2006.

    National Basketball Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver later issued a statement consistent with what Woj reported.

    “The NBA and the NBPA thank Secretary Rice and the members of the Commission on College Basketball for their commitment to address the issues facing men’s college basketball.  We support NCAA policy and enforcement reforms that will better safeguard the well-being of players while imposing greater accountability on representatives and programs that fail to uphold the values of the game.  We also share the Commission’s concern with the current state of youth basketball and echo that all stakeholders — including the NBA, NBPA, NCAA, and USA Basketball — have a collective responsibility to help bring about positive change.  Regarding the NBA’s draft eligibility rules, the NBA and NBPA will continue to assess them in order to promote the best interests of players and the game.”

    One mock NBA Draft for 2020 currently has 7-footer James Wiseman of Memphis (TN) East as the projected No. 1 pick that year, but that assumes Wiseman spends a year in college. Kentucky and Memphis are currently his main suitors.

    Meantime, the Class of 2020 could be the first high school class with the option to go straight to the NBA if one-and-done is abandoned. That class is led by 6-5 shooting guard Jalen Green, 6-4 point guard RJ Hampton and 6-10 power forward Isaiah Todd, according to ESPN’s rankings.

    Darius Bazley, the 6-10 senior forward from Cincinnati (OH) Princeton, is foregoing his college career at Syracuse in order to play in the NBA G League and has hired agent Rich Paul, as I wrote this week in The New York Times.

    Bazley said if he could go straight from high school to the pros, he would.

    “I think if you’re a one-and-done, you’re basically a none-and-done to me,” he said at the McDonald’s Game. “I mean, if we’re being honest, if you’re one-and-done, you’re basically none-and-done. The only reason kids that are one-and-done are going to school is because they have to, it’s the rule.”

    He added: “If I had good feedback, I wouldn’t just go because. But if coaches were telling me, ‘Hey, you’re a one-and-done, you could play in the league right now,’ then yeah, I would because my ultimate goal is to play professional basketball so going that route, that would be great for me.”

    Meantime, Woj said NBA executives liked the Commission’s proposal to allow undrafted players to return to college.

    The NBA announced Tuesday that 236 players — 181 players from colleges and post-graduate institutions and 55 international players — have filed as early entry candidates for the 2018 NBA Draft.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.