• Anyone who played AAU ball would be ineligible to enter the draft until they turned 21. Anyone who didn’t play AAU ball could enter the draft straight out of high school.
• Trust me, most of the NBA’s problems aren’t because of what takes place in the NBA. Most are because of the butt-kissing buddy system at the lower levels. It’s why guys constantly shrug during interviews (losing is no big deal when you receive a pair of free Nikes at 15), and why LeBron James left Cleveland to play with his friends. Under my plan, the system producing such evils would be squeezed to its knees.
• Every player drafted outside the lottery would be forced to spend his rookie season in the D-League. Not only would it aid player development, but it would give fans a reason to pay attention and increase revenue in the NBA’s farm system.
Of all the various proposals by writers, this is the first I remember that brought up the AAU. Not that Sam’s idea will have any bearing on reality, but it’s a nice thought.