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Shawn Marion would like to see age limit raised in league. And no salary cap.

Feb 3, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

If you wonder why there is an age limit on players entering the NBA, it’s because the veterans aren’t all that concerned about those young players coming to take their jobs.

It comes up again because 35-year-old Shawn Marion was asked if he had any advice for incoming NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and he threw out this, as reported by the Dallas Morning News.

“I think the age requirement for coming into the league should be higher,” he said…

“It should be at least two years (out of high school),” Marion said. “Two to three years, minimum.”

NBA owners have wanted to up that number, too. If you think it’s about the quality of the game, you’re wrong. It’s about their impression of risk — they think if they and their scouts see a player three years or more in college it will limit some draft mistakes, they will have more time to evaluate players. Plus it would allow players more time to build up marketing star power before they get to the NBA (college coaches would love to have the best players longer, too).

Of course, the scouting mistakes part is not — draft busts are not some new phenomenon; NBA GMs were missing on picks back when they got to see players for years and years. Michael Olowokandi spent three years in college, how did that work out? The list goes on and on with misfires on guys they saw for four years.

Also, a player doesn’t develop faster in college — he is limited in his practice hours by the NCAA and plays against inferior competition, plus the coaching isn’t as consistent. You develop and mature in college (and it’s a great experience) but you don’t improve faster as a player than you would in the NBA, where hoops becomes your full time job. Basically the NBA owners just would like to have someone else develop their players and not on their dime. (Personally, I’ve always favored more of the baseball rule — you can get drafted straight out of high school but if you go to college you have to stay three years. The owners don’t want to scout and draft high schoolers, however, so it’s not likely.)

By the way, Marion also thinks there should be no salary cap.

“I could see no cap and everybody doing what you want to do,” he said. “Baseball does it. If you want to go out and spend $200 million on your team (payroll), go ahead and do it.

“It can’t guarantee that you’re going to win, but why not? If you’ve got the money to do it, why not?

“There shouldn’t be a cutoff on what people want to spend for their teams, but there should be a minimum that have to spend, so you definitely put a good product on the floor.”

Spoken like a guy who plays for Mark Cuban.

And I love he thinks the owners should have a floor but not a ceiling. I bet a lot of players would like that.

  1. calkinsrob - Feb 3, 2014 at 4:51 PM

    No Salary Cap is why I cant stand baseball. Whats that stat that was talked about last year – A-Rod was making more money they all of the Houston Astros combined? wasnt that it? Thats what makes MLB so unfair to small market teams.

    • genericcommenter - Feb 3, 2014 at 8:26 PM

      The “small market” teams take advantage of it by making profits and getting welfare subsidy payments. They are worse than the big-market big spending teams, IMHO. If you can afford to own a major sports franchise, you should be able to field a competitive team and pay for your own facilities as well. You think billionaires that get tv bucks, revenue sharing, and sell a couple million tickets and millions of hotdogs and beer marked up 5000% can’t afford to pay players?

      • coachjac30 - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:35 PM

        I bet if you asked most team owners, they would tell you that owning a team is their least profitable of their business

    • Kevin S. - Feb 4, 2014 at 7:51 AM

      Small market teams have a brtter chance of winning in baseball than basketball. Go back almost any nimberof years, and you’ll see more baseball franchises have won titles than basketball franchises. For all the hand-wringing about the lack of a salary cap, baseball’s competitive balance is just fine.

      • coachjac30 - Feb 4, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        When the baseball season starts, you can bank on 15 teams not being competitive every season, in basketball its around 4-5.
        To me “competitive balance” isn’t the different number of champions (you can’t compare such a thing cross sport) its about the product they are putting on the playing surface.

  2. johngalt1783 - Feb 3, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    Back in the day scouting was not nearly as sophisticated and scouts did not use of advanced stats etc in analyzing a college player’s ability to play in the NBA.

    For people that don’t know college and NBA basketball are two completely different games. So even with advanced stats a number of mistakes occur during each draft.

    I can go along with it reverting back to drafting players directly out of high school. However, I think playes drafted direclty out of high school should get a two year D-League contract controlled by the NBA drafting team. The same with one and done players except they should get a one year D-League contract if drafted. Players who are drafted with two or more NCAA seasons would get a NBA contract.

    The difference between the NBA rookie scale contract and a D-league contract would remain albeit with some reasonable upward adjustment in the D-League salary scale.

  3. cbking05 - Feb 3, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Raise the age limit ….. why? cuz your geting older and the youngsters will soon be taking your job…STFU…. If an 18 year old is old enough to be sent to war then he should be old enough to PLAY basketball. BS.

  4. ohioteamsusuallysuck - Feb 3, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    How about you can get drafted out of high school but must spend 2 years in d-league before you can go to nba? That would make d-league much more exciting and it would let the players get paid to play and learn

    • coachjac30 - Feb 3, 2014 at 6:48 PM

      I like this idea, but it would potentially hurt the college game. What if the NBA instituted a rule similar to the “junior eligible” rule that allowed the Celtics to draft Bird even though he went back to play his senior season

      • Kevin S. - Feb 4, 2014 at 7:52 AM

        Why should the NBA give a damn about helping the college game?

      • coachjac30 - Feb 4, 2014 at 8:15 AM

        Did I say the NBA cared about the college game? I said that seeing as College basketball is more entertaining I would prefer to have the better players in college for at least a season

    • asimonetti88 - Feb 3, 2014 at 8:44 PM

      The way baseball does it is interesting. If you are drafted out of high school, you can negotiate with the team you’re drafted by, but if you decide to not end up signing, you have to stay in college for at least a couple more years.

    • dinofrank60 - Feb 3, 2014 at 9:02 PM

      That’s a better idea than most. It seems that people assume these guys will get better while paid, but a lot of coaches don’t have time to stop and teach in the middle of the season. Practice time isn’t as plentiful in the middle of the season as in the beginning.
      You also have to see that if you, as an 18-19 year old, aren’t given the keys to the franchise, you have a real short rope in regards to making mistakes. It’s better to go to the D-League when you can make those mistakes and learn. I’m all for letting high schoolers go to the D-League. Give them a fair chance.

      • Kurt Helin - Feb 5, 2014 at 9:57 PM

        Head coaches do not, but there are huge staffs on NBA teams that will come workout with an NBA player basically whenever they want, home or road.

      • dinofrank60 - Feb 7, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        One, some of these kids get the money and think they have it made. They do just enough to get that next contract, but they are more concerned about living the good life. so you might offer resources, but they may not invest in them. That’s part of life, sometimes.
        Two, they need to play; they really do not need to sit. It could be better to play on a minor league to learn to be professional. Because coaches have certain expectations, and if the kids don’t meet them they don’t get to play. Espcially when practice time, at times, is limited during the year.

    • sportsnut101 - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      This sounds good but the nba has a partnership with the NCAA on this so it won’t fly right now.
      But if they tweak it to where the kids must be enrolled in online classes while in d-league or teach them business side of the game to stop the people form going broke while in league the nba can do so much more lets hope they do something.

  5. djshnooks - Feb 3, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    He IS on to something, I just can’t figure out exactly what it is that I’m thinking.

    Something needs to change…basketball is losing a lot of popularity. Maybe it’s people (like me) who would rather watch college basketball where the kids actually have passion for the team they play for, they wanna be there…and they are playing for pride and a chance at their dreams.

    Once they make it to the NBA, that all seems to go out the window…it immediately turns into being about money, and nothing else, for most of these guys.

    Like hockey, if a kid is drafted at 18 years old and he is good enough to play, let him play, because it’s such a rare exception now. But if the team wants to, they should be able to send him to a “farm team” where he can mature (physically and mentally), as well as work on his game.

    The NFL should have something like this as well…maybe join with the CFL…if you draft a kid, say like Jeff Tuel on the Bills. He needs more time to refine his mechanics and build some muscle…so instead of having him on a practice squad where all he can do is practice…send him to Canada to be a starter on your farm club. It works perfect for hockey.

    I love the idea…but HATE the idea of having no salary cap. That’s absurd.

    • Kurt Helin - Feb 5, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      I honestly think the whole college kids “have passion for the team they play for” thing is what fans project on them. Those players, especially at the power schools, are mercenaries and most will trade schools in a heartbeat.

  6. therealhtj - Feb 3, 2014 at 7:25 PM

    How about you give up guaranteed contracts and you can have the other two? Yeah, that’s what I figured.

  7. tomtravis76 - Feb 3, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    You have to have a salary cap to prevent all star squads. Sure it would be fun to watch for a season, but then everyone loses interest.

    • Kevin S. - Feb 4, 2014 at 7:54 AM

      Because the salary cap has done such a good job preventing All-Star squads?

      • coachjac30 - Feb 4, 2014 at 8:53 AM

        It hasn’t? Players have had to take less in the NBA to load up their team. In MLB that isn’t the case. Look at the Yankees and Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, Phillies, and Mets, they can spend whatever they want, for whoever they want, nobody has to take a less to play for one of those teams.

  8. ProBasketballPundit - Feb 3, 2014 at 11:31 PM

    Age limit? I didn’t realize they don’t let 45 year old dudes play in the NBA. I can see why Marion is upset though; he’s about to be out of work.

  9. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    Please these guys are so over paid. Or maybe you just feel that way when you are a Knicks fan…..

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