The NBA has informed its teams that there will be no changes to the league’s draft eligibility rules to allow players to enter the draft right out of high school until at least 2022, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).
Currently, players must be at least 19 years old and must be at least one year removed from high school before they’re eligible to enter the NBA draft, which results in most top prospects attending college for one year before going pro.
Way back in November of 2017, we heard the NBA and the players’ union were discussing the possibility of adjusting draft eligibility rules with an eye toward eliminating that one-and-done path. The Commission on College Basketball subsequently issued a report this past April recommending that the one-and-done rule be altered or eliminated. While that appears likely to happen at some point, a July report indicated it wouldn’t occur until at least 2021 — now we know we’ll have to wait at least one additional year beyond that.
If and when the NBA opens the door for players to enter the draft out of high school, that draft year figures to be flooded with top prospects. For instance, if it happens in 2022, the top high school grads of that year would join that season’s top college freshman in the ’22 draft class. As such, the league would prefer to give teams plenty of notice for when it will happen.
With the league’s draft eligibility rules expected to remain unchanged until at least 2022, the NBA G League is set to offer top high school prospects an alternative to the usual one-and-done route in the NCAA. As we relayed earlier today, “select contracts” worth $125K – well over the standard $35K G League salary – will be available starting in 2019 for elite prospects who aren’t yet draft-eligible.