With the NBA's lockout appearing to be nearing an end, the remaining work standing in the way of getting a pro season started on Christmas Day is reportedly resolving a handful of "B-List" issues. This includes an agreement on the existing "One and Done" rule, which requires US born NBA Draft entrants to be at least 19-years old or one year removed from high school.
Overlooked throughout the months of contentious labor negotiations, the act of adding a second year is still very much alive, creating a small rift among players and owners.
The NBA would like to see the rule changed so that eligible players are at least 20 years old plus two years removed from high school, as players would then play longer in college and be easier to market when they enter the league. Such a change would mean that two of the top three prospects for the 2012 NBA draft -- Connecticut freshman Andre Drummond and Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis -- would be ineligible until the 2013 draft. The players' association has long opposed raising the eligibility rule on grounds of fairness and irrationality (as SI.com's Zach Lowe recently explained), but did so in 2005 when it agreed to raise the limit from 18 years old to 19 as part of the now-expired CBA.
The union will probably compromise this time around as well since, A) raising the limit would only directly impact those players not yet in the union and thus those who have no voice and; B) a higher limit would mean that more veterans keep their jobs every year. Still, there are many NBA players who believe firmly in not raising the age restriction and this is not an easy issue to resolve over a weekend.
Naturally, you and I are in agreement that "Two and Through" would be exponentially more awesome than the current "One and Done" rule for a number of obvious reasons.
Consider this potential rule change the extra Christmas gift that got lost behind the tree. The lockout is just about over, which is good news if you like the NBA. In addition, there's an added bonus of requiring the nation's top college freshman to stay on campus for at least two seasons. Who knows what the final decision will be, but the fact it must be resolved before all stakeholders can sign off on a new collective bargaining agreement is very encouraging.