20-Year-Old Age Limit in the NBA: A Positive for College Basketball

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1. Marketing

Despite having a ton of players with sponsors and a worldwide presence, marketing for the NBA could be improved if the age limit were changed from 19 to 20. In this day and age, there seems to be a disunion between the NBA and college basketball. In the past, college basketball was a huge marketing tool for the NBA, working together hand-in-hand.

Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Patrick Ewing all went to play college ball for at least two seasons. In 1985, there was huge excitement after the New York Knicks won the #1 overall pick and were going to draft Patrick Ewing.

College basketball needs to be the main marketing tool for the NBA. The future stars of the NBA need to be known at the time of the draft. The best way for this to happen is to raise the age limit higher than 19-years-old.

For instance, take a look at the NFL Draft. College football players cannot enter the NFL Draft until they complete three years of college and on draft night many future stars are well known. In the 2012 NFL Draft, Andrew Luck was drafted #1 overall while Russell Wilson was drafted in the third round. Despite being drafted in the third round, Wilson was still well known by many NFL fans and well hyped.

In the 2011 NBA Draft, Kyrie Irving (one year at Duke) was drafted #1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers while Josh Selby (one year at Kansas) was drafted 49th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies. Kyrie Irving has extremely hyped after being drafted and Selby was barely known and not hyped at all.

If the age limit was raised to 20-years-old, the NBA could have more well known players being drafted and college basketball could receive more attention early on in the season and not just during March because of the returning players.