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.