The NBA is reportedly looking into ways to get rid of the one-and-done rule. In an interesting twist, though, Adam Silver and his team tasked with solving this issue are not necessarily just going to open the door for high schoolers to jump right to the pros, and are instead looking at other avenues that can get players to the league while making sure they are ready to become professional athletes.
For Kevin Durant, doing something that gives kids a path to the pros is generally a pretty good idea. He’s the kind of player who was impacted by the current one-and-done rule — Durant was the nation’s No. 2 recruit in high school and spent one year in college before making the jump to the NBA, and you can make the argument that he could have skipped college entirely and still have been a star.
There is something that makes Durant a little leery, and it has to do with a player’s ability to analyze their game and be surrounded by people who have their best interest in mind. Durant spoke to the media about the potential changes to the league’s road to the pros and cautioned players to make sure those around them are not trying to “blow smoke.”
Durant is right in that players would need to be cautious if a new system is implemented. One of the good things about the one-and-done rule is it does make players go to college, see what they are as a basketball player in the moment, and learn if they can cut it at a really competitive level or if they need further development. Letting players go pro right away, even if that pit stop is in the G League, conceivably opens the door for someone in their inner circle to convince them to make the leap even if they aren’t ready for the grind quite yet.
All of this is to say that finding out the ideal way to replace the one-and-done would be really, really hard. There are pros and cons to every system, and the negatives will certainly pop up at some point along the line, because that happens whenever you are dealing with young talent. Still, Durant understands and made it a point to caution future generations of players on how to make sure one important safeguard is in place.