Adam Silver Wants a Harder Salary Cap and the Age Limit Raised to 20

by November 25, 2014

GQ named NBA Commissioner Adam Silver one of its Men of the Year, largely for his effective and widely-praise handling of the Donald Sterling fiasco.

Silver spoke at length about the challenges he faces — the race issue in the L, domestic violence, prioritizing HGH testing over marijuana use — and the tweaks he’d like to implement.

High up on the Commish’s wish-list is an even harder salary cap, and a minimum age limit of 20 years old instead of 19:

“I would have a harder salary cap. I still think it’s unhealthy for the league when a team like Brooklyn goes out and pays an exorbitant luxury tax in order to give themselves a better chance to win. From a league-office standpoint, the ideal league would be for all thirty teams to compete based on the skill of their management and players, as opposed to one team paying more to get better talent. So creating a more even system would be at the top of my list. And I’ll give you one more: I think it would benefit the league to raise the minimum age from 19 to 20.”


“The reason we can’t unilaterally do it is because it must be collectively bargained. We bargained with the union many years ago in order to move it from 18 to 19. Going to 20 was on the table during the last bargaining cycle [in 2011], but it was an issue we parked, having already lost several weeks of the season [due to the lockout], and we were anxious to get the season going. But it’s something I hope to address in the near future.”


“(The union’s) principal argument is that it’s a restriction on players. And as a philosophical argument, I totally understand that. Of course it’s a restriction, in the same way a draft is a restriction. But our view is that it would make for a better league. You’d have more skilled players, more mature players. The draft would be better. It would be better for basketball in general. Strong college basketball is great for the NBA. And we know those players are eventually going to come to the NBA, whether they are 19 or 20 or 21.”