CJ Miles was one of the Toronto Raptors major player acquisitions of the summer. He is ente..."/> CJ Miles was one of the Toronto Raptors major player acquisitions of the summer. He is ente..."/>

High school to the NBA


CJ Miles was one of the Toronto Raptors major player acquisitions of the summer. He is entering his 13th season in the NBA and came to the league straight out of high school in 2005. Miles is the other side of the coin in the age old argument against allowing players to skip college and go straight to the NBA.

The Toronto Raptors recently acquired CJ Miles from the Indiana Pacers in a trade for Cory Joseph. Miles then signed a three-year deal with the Raptors for a reported $25 million.

In his previous 12 seasons as a pro, Miles earned somewhere in the range of $33.5 million which put his career total earnings in the range of $58 million.

Not bad for a guy who didn’t go to college.

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Miles was a part of the 2005 NBA draft class which was the last year the league allowed players to be drafted straight out of high school. The rules changed the following year and have remained since which has helped create the often criticized one and done era of college basketball.

Miles was one of nine high school players drafted that year. That list includes two former Raptors, Amir Johnson and Lou Williams. All three players are alive and well and still playing in the NBA along with Gerald Green and Monta Ellis.

Martell Webster had a 10-year career while Andray Blatche and Andrew Bynum played nine years in the NBA. Ricky Sanchez was a second round pick and still plays for the Puerto Rican National team, but never played in the NBA.

When you hear people making an argument that it isn’t good for kids to go straight from high school to the NBA, look no further than CJ Miles and the rest of the 2005 draft class.

None of those guys turned out to be LeBron James (who also came straight out of high school), but just about every one of those players ended up having successful careers in the NBA and the majority are still playing at a very high level.

Aside from the NFL, just about every professional sports league around the world signs teenagers to professional contracts and hands them millions of dollars; but the NBA doesn’t.

The argument for many is that the quality of the NBA will suffer if they allow a bunch of kids into the league.

The Toronto Maple Leafs share a building with the Raptors and the two best assets of that franchise in the 2016-17 season were a pair of teenagers in Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

The Edmonton Oilers had a pretty decent teenager (Connor McDavid) playing for them over the past two seasons as well.

The Toronto Blue Jays play across the street from the Leafs and Raptors and their best prospect is Vladimir Guerro Jr. who they signed as a 16 year-old for $3.9 million.

Soccer clubs have always signed kids to professional contracts from a very young age and the quality of play in the best leagues in Europe hasn’t suffered one bit. Nor have the bank balances. 

AC Milan’s starting goalie last season was 17 year-old Gianluigi Donnarumma while 18 year-old American Christian Pulisic is a rising star in the German Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund and U.S National Team.

The NFL doesn’t allow players to enter their league until they are three years removed from high school, which is probably a good thing.

What do you think a 30 year-old Ray Lewis would’ve done to some 18 year-old WR coming across the middle of the field who skipped college and went right to the NFL? 

The game of basketball has evolved into a global game and its time that the NBA starts modelling themselves more after the English Premier League instead of their American counterpart the NFL.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke about the need for change in the draft age rule during a press conference at the NBA finals. He said:

"”I think we all agree that we need to make a change.” “My sense is it’s not working for anyone.” “It’s not working for the college coaches and athletic directors I hear from. They’re not happy with the current system. And I know our teams aren’t happy either.”"

Players like CJ Miles and the rest of the 2005 NBA draft class are all the proof you need that players can make the leap straight from high school to the pros and develop into quality players.

The great Sam Cooke said, “It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come.”

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