NBA Submits Proposal To Lower Draft Age

The NBA has submitted an official proposal to the National Basketball Players Association that would lower the draft-eligible age from 19 to 18, according to a report from Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports.

The NBPA and executive director Michele Roberts planned to review the proposal on Monday at a post-All-Star break meeting, Zillgitt adds.

Both the NBA and the NBPA have held extensive discussions on lowering the age throughout the season, but two significant hurdles remain in the way: Commissioner Adam Silver wanting player-agents to provide medical information on prospects for NBA teams, and the league wanting to mandate that players attend and give some form of participation during the pre-draft combine, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. To this point, the NBPA has pushed back against both of these ideas.

In the present day, players must attend college for one season – or at least be one year removed from high school – before they can declare for the NBA Draft. Prospects such as Duke’s Zion Williamson have raised questions about the legitimacy of this rule, with Williamson widely regarded as being NBA-ready before his collegiate season began.

Should the NBA and NBPA mutually agree on a proposal to lower the draft age, the league wants to give teams significant time before putting the rule into effect, according to Zillgitt. The earliest draft with an altered minimum-age would likely be the 2022 NBA Draft, or three years from June.

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23 thoughts on “NBA Submits Proposal To Lower Draft Age

  1. stevep-4

    whatever, still there will be many busts and sob stories of 18 year old millionaires who did not properly stash away the money they made and now are broke

    there will also be many players who never get to age 22 in the NBA and also do not have a college degree that would help them get a decent job

    this is really a roll the dice situation and if the NBA wants to be pretty much like the modeling “industry” this is a good move, make money off of immature but physically talented teens and then throw them away when their physical talent is no longer popular/useful/profitable

    • bklynny67

      If you HAD TO have a college degree to get a decent job, I’d agree with you, but that’s not the case anymore.

      • dcahen

        Disagree bklynny67; most of these kids have no experience doing anything but basketball. It’s their dream to getting out of poverty, etc. Even a fluff college degree could give them opportunities. The NBA is going the wrong way with this, but then it’s kind of like the direction of our society; no one gives a damn about others, there’s no real benevolence, they’re a commodity to use up. Good analogy with the modeling careers; about the same. I didn’t think I could dislike the NBA any more than I already do, but heck, I was wrong. Bunch of Pigs.

      • jump shot

        Hell, sometimes a degree doesn’t even guarantee anything more than a “decent” job

    • While I agree with you, the reality of players who are one and done going to college aren’t thinking about school anyway – just focused on where they fall in the draft. Unless changing the rules for the to attend the full four years, I don’t think it’ll make a difference. In defense of lowering the draft age, at least those drafted have an opportunity to make some money even if they become a bust. It’s more than what they’d probably get otherwise.

  2. Z-A

    Treat this like drafting an international player. They may not come to the NBA team for a year or two. Teams can draft HS seniors and stash i.e. they can go to college still or they can come to the league. Still get paid their slotting rate though, but doesn’t count against the cap until they join the team.

    So if you really want Jaden McDaniels or Anthony Edward’s you can draft him this coming year. Even if they decide to play in college.

    • stevep-4

      I like that idea, but in practice what 18 year old is going to choose college over money?

  3. The problem the NBA had before is guys get excited about the chance to play in the NBA. Few make it, many don’t. Some one and done players get a chance to start their rookie years. Very few coming straight from high school will.

  4. Guest617

    nba agents scouting high school games will be s circus show. is a high school diploma or GED required for draft eligibility? so now these diaper brats will drop out of school mid senior yr.

    • And then you have JohnWall who is getting his college degree from Kentucky while rehabbing his knee and achilles. Many still do.

  5. hknova

    It is really correct you have to play in college for a year as article states? Can’t they spend 1 year anywhere before being eligible?

    • Luke Adams

      College players have to spend a year there, but there’s no obligation to play in college. I’ve tweaked the wording to make that more clear.

  6. dust44

    It doesn’t matter if u go to college or not. There’s still people who get that big money job who end up broke. Or living paycheck to paycheck. I took a financial class in HS. And still had to learn thru my younger years how to actually budget money. It has nothing to do with teenagers blowing there money. The rule was first out in place because there were a lot of guys coming out that weren’t physically ready to play against grown men. Well b-ball has changed since then. And hs coaches r doing a better job of utilizing the weight room and strength and conditioning. A lot of these kids step foot in college ready to play in the nba. Plus there the GLeague now to help develop there games and I really think the NBA should expand the rosters to 17 regular contracts and that way they keep a couple kids at the end of the roster to assign to the gleague and still have the 2-way contracts available to also aid in development. There’s ways to expand the game and talent pool.

    • dust44

      Or better yet. Do away with the 2-way contracts and every team must have a gleague team that they can freely use as there minor league team and pull guys up and back down.

      • stevep-4

        This also might work, similar to baseball’s minor leagues. I do think the “dream of the NBA” creates a lot of poor decisions with high school players. Just watch Hoop Dreams (or even the beginning of He Got Game) to get an idea of the pressure these kids put themselves under. It’s really not healthy.

  7. oneiblnd

    Wouldn’t have anything to do with LeBrons kid and the media attention he’s going to create would it?

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