The Athletic

What the NBA is changing the draft age to 18, eliminating the ‘one-and-done’ rule means

The NBA is expected to roll back a rule in place since 2005 lowering the age limit for the NBA draft from 19 to 18, according to people familiar with the discussions. The NBA and the NBA Players Association can change this rule as early as 2024. Prior to 2005, the league saw players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwight Howard make the jump from high school to the NBA at the age of 18. With a Dec. 15 mutual withdrawal date looming for the NBA and NBPA under their current CBA, let’s break down the draft’s new age limit, why it matters, and what it means for future prospects.

How does the current NBA draft age limit work?

Currently, the NBA requires any player entering the NBA draft to be at least 19 years old in the calendar year in which the draft takes place and at least one NBA season removed from their high school diploma or what what his degree would have been if he hadn’t. graduate. This means players can move forward after high school, but this year could be spent in college, overseas, or even G League Ignite.

What would be the new lower NBA Draft age limit?

The new age limit would cut it by a year, allowing 18-year-olds to enter the NBA and waiving the requirement that they must be at least a year away from graduating from high school. . This would allow players to move from high school — or the Overtime Elite league or the G League Ignite — straight to the NBA.

When would the new NBA draft age limit go into effect?

As early as 2024, which means we could have the mythical double draft that year, where the top players in the high school class of 2024 are in the same draft as the high school class of 2023 and all the other students in the upper class of the middle School.

What does this mean for Bronny, Bryce James?

It doesn’t look like that will mean much to Bronny James. He’s currently in the high school class of 2023, so if the first year back under the new age limit is 2024, he’ll still have to play college for one more season before entering the NBA Draft. Bryce James is currently in the high school class of 2025, so he looks set to make the jump from high school straight to the NBA, just like his dad, LeBron James.


(Photo by LeBron and Bronny James: AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Could this eliminate the G League Ignite team?

I wonder if the NBA is trying to sell separate media rights for the G League if they’re still using Ignite in some way, maybe to attract international talent like they did or as a starting point. landing for the player who doesn’t want to go to college but doesn’t want to get into the draft yet because his stock isn’t good enough, giving him a year to flesh out his resume.

Will NIL help schools recruit the best high school players?

The majority of players with a first-round grade will skip college altogether. It’s not much different from your best freshmen in the current system.

Those who have a second-round rating or are about to be drafted will have a tougher decision to make. Will it make sense to go to college and try to improve the stock while getting paid? Or is it better to play on an NBA bench or in the G League and start your NBA time earlier?

The success rate of the first classes might dictate that. The amount of money schools are able to offer for name, image and likeness contracts could also play a role. We are still very early in the NIL era. It’s possible that what schools are able to pay will continue to increase or it’s possible that the biggest contributors won’t see enough of a return on investment to continue offering the kind of offers we’ve seen so far. here.

What the mental health impairment designation covers

It would undoubtedly be a big step forward for the league and its players both in shedding light on mental health issues and in backing up that discourse by giving players the time, space and opportunity to address them. solve. We’ll see what the actual changes will be and what’s on offer for players, but even the willingness to discuss something like this should be an acknowledgment that the status quo is insufficient.

How does the ABC NBA work?

The ABC is the league-wide governing manual, negotiated between the league and its players’ union, the NBPA. It determines how every part of the NBA works, from the draft to free agency and just about everything in between.

When does the current NBA CBA expire?

The current ABC covers the 2023-24 season, but the NBA and NBPA have the option to opt out by Dec. 15.

(Photo: Brad Penner/USA Today)


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