NBA, players haggling about one-and-done

Whether the one-and-done rule ever goes away is not for college basketball types to decide. The rule belongs to David Stern and the NBA, and in the past year or so it's become clear that Stern, while pleased with the league-wide effects of forcing players to wait a year after college graduation to enter the NBA draft, would like to go even further. If Stern has his druthers, one-and-done will become two-and-through and, hey, at least we already know what to call it.

The story doesn't end there. In fact, it's just beginning. According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, the National Basketball Players Association is taking up the abolition of the one-and-done rule as one of its main concerns in its upcoming negotiations with the league on a new collective bargaining agreement. From Broussard:

While the owners want to do away with the soft salary cap and guaranteed contracts, the players hope to end the age restriction that forbids players from entering the NBA directly out of high school.

"We want to go back to the way it was," a source from the National Basketball Players Association said. "The players have always been philosophically opposed to it. The vast majority of players feel a player should have the right to make a living. If he has the talent and wants to make money to help his family, he should have that right. It's just a matter of principle."

Of course, the players' union is also opposing the owners' calls for a soft cap and reduced salaries, and it's interested in "rule changes that would provide more flexibility for sign-and-trade deals." It would therefore be foolish to call the one-and-done rule the NBPA's primary issue. From an outside read, it feels more like a bargaining chip, something to throw in while the sides bicker over the heavy lifting of the league's financial future.

Arguments about the merits of the rule aside, one-and-done is on the CBA agenda, and that's worth noting in and of itself. Stern wants an, ahem, sterner rule. The players want the rule to go away. And both sides have much bigger fish to fry. In the meantime, college hoops fans, players, and coaches will sit idly by, with absolutely no say in the process, waiting to see what massive changes their sport is going to go through next. Whether you're for the rule or against it, the only thing to do now is cross your fingers.