Denver Nuggets president and governor Josh Kroenke has a proposal to end the NBA’s one-and-done rule.
In an appearance on The Woj Pod with Adrian Wojnarowski, Kroenke laid out his concept for a one-round high school draft where selected players would spend a mandatory year in the G League. The NBA’s Rookie Transition Program would also be replaced by a mandatory “NBA U” — a 12-month course where players would learn how to prepare for life as professionals and the financial responsibilities that come with it.
Here’s Kroenke’s proposal in full.
“The conversation has come up a couple different times by people who have either seen our proposal or heard about it. It was an idea that I had actually sitting down watching hockey. I understood kind of how their farm system worked and I understood the direction the NBA was trying to take the G League. There’s going to be more two-way contracts that are being discussed, that’s obviously being implemented now. I thought about it from an angle of let’s give these young men a chance to come in, earn a salary, open up their pathway to endorsements if there were companies that wanted to do that with these young men. But the part of it was the one-round high school draft was that they had to spend a mandatory year in the development league.
“Really what that would do is instead of going to college, where a lot of these young men are going for the one-and-done, coming from my experience as a basketball player at the University of Missouri, a lot of those guys, I know exactly the scenario they’re going through. They come in, they go to class in the fall and really the only reason why they’re going to class is to make sure they’re eligible for second semester. Once second semester rolls around, if they’re a one-and-done type guy, they don’t really need to go to class too much anymore, so they’re truly there to play basketball. And ultimately, you can’t ignore the amount of money that’s around professional sports these days especially the NBA. Once you sign on that dotted line your life is immediately changed. A lot of these young men come from challenging background just like a lot of my college teammates did, so I’ve seen the college athlete lifestyle, and it’s not very glamorous and knowing the money that’s generated, and it’s obviously getting a lot of traction in the news today with everything that’s going on with the NCAA. But it was an interesting one for us to kick around and it was a lot of fun for us to discuss because it would be an infusion of talent for the NBA.
“And I think it would do these G League basketball players a good service in the long run because part of that mandatory one year in the development league was you had to go through an NBA U as we called it, a lot of life skills. Right now they have a Rookie Transition Program, which I think is wonderful, but this would essentially be a one-year rookie transition program where these 18-, 19-year-old kids were understanding how to be adults, how to prepare for life as a professional, how to prepare for that big paycheck that’s coming your way, and I think we could really help educate them. And I think it would also be good because you get a lot more former players involved helping these kids through the ins and outs of what’s going on and the process might wind up eliminating some of the nonsense that’s going on in the NCAA today.”
There seems to be a growing sense of momentum throughout the league to end the one-and-done rule.
Before Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the one-and-done rule is “not working for anyone.” Silver and NBAPA executive director Michelle Roberts reportedly met with the new Commission on College Basketball headed by Condoleezza Rice in November about the one-and-done rule, according to ESPN. Then at his press conference at All-Star weekend in February, Silver admitted that the NBA is “conflicted” with the rule, which has been in place since 2006.
As more information continues to emerge from the FBI’s investigation into college basketball, the sport is likely heading for unprecedented changes. The league’s one-and-done rule could very well change with it.