by: David Kay
Like clockwork, every May and June in the weeks leading up to the NBA Draft, there is debate about the rule the league implemented where prospects must have played at least one year of college basketball or at least be 19 years old by the end of the calendar year before entering the draft. Some “experts” love the idea so high school players cannot go straight to college. Others think the rule needs to be lengthened because the “one-and-done” college hoopsters only have to take one semester of classes seriously before leaving school.
The NFL has a similar rule stating that a player must be three years removed from high school before entering the draft. So what if the “one-and-done” haters got their wish and the NBA adopted the NFL’s age regulations? That is what this mock draft is all about.
Think about the impact that rule would have. Players like Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, O.J. Mayo, Kevin Love, Eric Gordon, Jerryd Bayless, Anthony Randolph, Donte Greene, Blake Griffin, James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn, Demar DeRozan, Austin Daye, James Johnson, Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, B.J. Mullens, Ricky Rubio and Brandon Jennings would all still be either in college or playing overseas. Meanwhile, current NBA stars like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Brook Lopez would just be entering the draft.
I took some of the following factors into account when figuring out this mock draft. I considered what positions the teams drafted last month and tried to stick with that spot. There is more big-man talent in this specific class than there was in the actual 2009 NBA Draft, so some teams that selected certain positions instead went for size.
I also factored in the development of each player if they would have stayed in college or overseas for an extra year or two. For example, Ohio State’s Daequan Cook would have developed his game significantly with two more years with the Buckeyes, thus improving his status as the 21st overall pick in 2007.
I also assumed that certain teams were filled at their current positions. For instance, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook wouldn’t have been on the Thunder last season, but I am drafting under the theory that Oklahoma City had comparable players on their roster.
Click here for the complete mock draft with NFL age rules