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Celtics

Ainge On Toucher & Rich: Increasing NBA’s Minimum Age Better For League, NCAA

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(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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BOSTON (CBS) — With the NCAA tournament just a week away, college basketball players will be in the spotlight for the next few weeks.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is already hard at work, catching a quartet of NCAA Conference tournaments out in Las Vegas. But he still had time for his weekly call in to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich on Thursday morning, touching on a number of topics around the NBA and Boston Celtics.

New NBA commissioner Adam Silver said recently that he would like to increase the minimum age for the NBA, which is currently 19-years-old. Allowing players to enter the NBA after just one year at college has created a “one-and-done” phenomenon in the NCAA, which Silver has called “a disaster.”  He doesn’t think most players are ready for the NBA with just one year of college experience, and Ainge agrees with him.

Ainge said Silver will have plenty of work to do in order to get the NCAA and NBA Player’s Association to sign off on a change, but he is all for raising the minimum age.

“I like college basketball, and I think it’s better for the game if the kids stay longer. It’s better for the NBA if kids stay longer, with very few exceptions – the LeBron’s and Durant’s and so forth. I think overall, it’s better (if they stay),” said Ainge. “Kids are coming in younger and unprepared into a man’s world, a much different type of world. If it were my own children I would want them to get educated more.”

“Two years isn’t going to guarantee anything, but it’s just another year to evaluate,” said Ainge. “Fewer mistakes will be made in the draft and fewer kids will make mistakes by going into the draft, thinking they’re better than they are and more prepared for the NBA than they are. I’m with Adam.”

Ainge also told Toucher and Rich that point guard Rajon Rondo won’t be suiting up for the second game of any of Boston’s remaining back-to-backs as he recovers from his ACL surgery.

“Based on where we are as a team and Rondo is his rehab, it’s probably safe to say he won’t play back-to-backs the rest of the year,” said Ainge. “We need him to play because we want him to get re-acclimated; there’s a mental process and mental hurdle to overcome when you come back from an ACL tear.”

“So it’s important for him to play some games, but at the same time we don’t want to wear him out or take any risks. We want him to have a full year of rehab and strengthening and not take any steps backwards,” he said. “We’re going to be careful with Rondo as we finish the year. It appears he’s gaining ground to being back to who he is, and we want to see him at 100 percent next season.”

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