In 2005, NBA players and executives ironed out a collective bargaining agreement that installed an age limit for the draft. Going forward, NBA prospects had to be at least 19 years old and one year removed from high school graduation in order to be eligible for the draft. It’s easy to highlight straight-out-of-high-school players who didn’t pan out, like Kwame Brown, for this ruling.
In the absence of prep-to-pro, the current one-and-done era emerged, when wunderkind talent would amaze for one year of NCAA ball before bolting immediately to the NBA. At the college level, Coach John Calipari has emerged as the face of the one-and-done era, especially after recently ushering seven Kentucky players to the 2015 NBA Draft, only to reload with yet another stacked recruiting class. If anything, each of the five best players out of the one-and-era highlights the glaring contradictions between college and professional ball.