With Emmanuel Mudiay’s defection from college to go and play professionally overseas the conversation of eligibility came back to the surface. His camp spun the move as family oriented and financially driven, but Mudiay’s eligibility has been called into question in the past.
He went to Prime Time Prep, an athletic training school for lack of a better term, which is to be shut down amid numerous potential violations. The school has been in the news for all the wrong reasons since the doors opened.
This brings up a conversation that started in 2005 with David Stern removing the ability to come straight from high school to the NBA and continued into the last collective bargaining agreement, where the league pushed for a 20-year-age minimum before setting for the current “one and done” model that has been around for nine years now.
New NBA commissioner Adam Silver is very much in favor of the move to a 20-year age minimum and will be pushing for it come 2017 when the current CBA expires.
“It’s hard to tell,” Silver said in April to USA Today’s Sam Amick. “I never quite understood the player opposition.”
It is being surmised as a financial decision. A basketball decision that is best for the coaches, the league, and the prospects as a whole:
“So there is absolutely, and by definition can’t be, a financial savings to us by increasing the age to 20,” Silver said. “It has been our belief that we have a better chance to grow the (financial) pie that gets divided 50-50 if we increase the age and create, in essence, a more competitive league. And it has been our sense for a long time that our draft would be more competitive if our teams had an opportunity to see these players play an additional year, whether it be in college or professionally in the Development League or overseas.”
With all that the question becomes simple: What would the 2015 NBA Draft look like with a 20-year age minimum?
No freshmen, no international prospects younger than the age minimum, and for the first couple of years no fireworks for the incoming freshmen class on who will be the “one and done” prospects of this class. All the high school stars will have to settle down in college for two full years or head over to Europe to learn the ropes before coming over to the NBA.
Based on Vegas Insider odds here is what the lottery order could potentially look like next year and what the teams might do with only prospects that will be at least 20 before draft night in a 2015 NBA Mock Draft:
1. Philadelphia 76ers — Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona, 1995)
Hyper athletic wing that has a little Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and a little Kawhi Leonard to his game as a defender with upside as an offensive weapon. With the collage of talent in Arizona he will not put up elite numbers, but Hollis-Jefferson does a little bit of everything on both ends of the court.
2. Milwaukee Bucks — Mario Hezonja (Croatia, 1995)
Like Hollis-Jefferson above, Hezonja will likely be a top 10 pick regardless of an age limit, and is the best international prospect in this class. Very good athlete, great size for the wing, and scores in a variety of ways.
3. Utah Jazz — Montrezl Harrell (Louisville, 1994)
The Jazz are building a team that can get up-and-down the court and score in a variety of ways. Harrell might have been a lottery pick in this year’s draft if he declared and brings rebounding, toughness, and quality athleticism to the front-court.
4. Sacramento Kings — Andrew Harrison (Kentucky, 1994)
Can you picture next year the Kings brass all sitting around a table and passing around a few names like, “Who do you want? Andrew Harrison or Elfrid Payton? Oh, we cannot take Payton this year? OK … only 3 minutes left on the clock.” The team seems to love combo guards of Harrison’s size so he fits their pattern.
5. Detroit Pistons — Jabari Bird (California, 1994)
As a freshman, Bird showed he is one of the better two-way wings in college using his raw athleticism to make plays on the defensive end. He has great size and plugs into the wing for the Pistons which has been a wide hole for them in recent years.
6. Orlando Magic — Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky, 1993)
Versatility and athleticism have been the focus of the Magic for a few years now and WCS, for a legit 7-footer, can do a plethora of things on the court on the defensive end. Since the team clearly does not value shooting in young prospects, he fits in perfectly.
7. Minnesota Timberwolves — Chris Walker (Florida, 1994)
After missing most of his freshman season due to eligibility issues Walker came in and flashed his potential for the Gators at the end of the season. He is a unique athlete for his size and has the raw ability to do anything on the court.
8. Boston Celtics — Sindarius Thornwell (South Carolina, 1994)
Best player you have never heard of. Big, strong guard that can play some point, but is a natural 2 guard, and does a little bit of everything on the court. Has some Marcus Smart to his game in terms of size and versatility.
9. Phoenix Suns (via Los Angeles Lakers) — Bobby Portis (Arkansas, 1995)
Thank you, L.A. While he did not have as impactful of a season as his fellow freshmen that went in the 2014 NBA Draft, Portis has complete package to be an impact player at any level. Great size, athleticism, and plays both ends of the floor.
10. New Orleans Pelicans — Aaron Harrison (Kentucky, 1994)
Hero Harrison gets the opportunity to come into a situation with established All-Star caliber players all around him and a team on the rise. His size, shooting, and scoring are a welcome addition.
11. Phoenix Suns — Sam Dekker (Wisconsin, 1994)
With the way Dekker is growing he might be a full-on NBA 4 by the time he hits the NBA and with his shooting and ball-handling skills, he becomes an enticing prospect here.
12. Atlanta Hawks — Buddy Hield (Oklahoma, 1993)
There is a lot of “Victor Oladipo Lite” in Hield as a slightly undersized 2 guard with tremendous defensive upside, an improved jump shot, and some combo guard to his game.
13. Charlotte Hornets — Wayne Selden (Kansas, 1993)
14. Denver Nuggets — Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia, 1995)
Just barely making the cut in terms of age and one of the more intriguing international prospects overall. A clear stretch-4 now with the potential to impact the game in a more diverse way as he adds strength.
Tags: 2015 NBA Draft 2015 NBA Mock Draft Aaron Harrison Adam Silver Andrew Harrison Bobby Portis Buddy Hield Chris Walker Emmanuel Mudiay Jabari Bird Kristaps Porzingis Mario Hezonja Montrezl Harrell Nba Draft Nba Mock Draft Philadelphia 76ers Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Sam Dekker Sindarius Thornwell Wayne Selden Willie Cauley-stein