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Maximizing The Talent Of Young Bigs

Shoals is in playoff form over at The Sporting Blog, and we're not talking Hornets playoff form, but full-on Bulls/Celtics playoff form. His take yesterday on the NBA's age limit and Jeremy Tyler was spot on and echoes my initial thoughts when I heard the news that Tyler was leaving high school to play pro ball in Europe.

Forget the money and current opportunity. Forget the Sonny Vaccaro vs. NCAA angle. Where will Tyler's game be in five years after full time hoops against grown men? What about ten years when his mind, body and game should all be in prime condition? Will the heavy miles Tyler puts on his developing body before the age of 20 take a toll and rob him of a time when his game could be both physically and mentally peaking at the same time? The concern being that the mind doesn't catch up with the body before the body starts breaking down.

Thanks to the Pacers' experience with Jonathan Bender and Jermaine O'Neal, these thoughts always bubble to the top when a young big guy wants to make the jump. Shoals has a great list of players who have struggled to reach their prime with a healthy enough body to take full advantage of their talent.

Actually, the players take full financial advantage of their talent, which is great for the individual player and their families, but what's the ulitmate goal?

For some, the pay day is it. Congrats. Move along and thanks for killing our cap. But if the goal is a serious on-court career and accolades as an elite player, then rushing the process doesn't appear to be the right move.