NBA expected to bring back the direct path from high school to draft

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

The rule implemented in 2005 forced players to play at least one year of college basketball before becoming eligible for the NBA draft. Players playing one season in the NCAA and then entering the draft were labeled as “one-and-done players.” However, moving directly from high school to the NBA bypassing college is close to resurfacing as an option for young upstarts based in North America.

As reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic Monday, the NBA and NBPA are expected to agree on moving back the age eligibility for the NBA draft from 19 to 18, thus allowing players in high school to immediately make themselves available to NBA teams. The same goes for international players being able to declare for the draft at 18, instead of 19.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently supported changing the age limit. “It may be the case that it’s in all of our interests that we start impacting with these young players, especially because in our sport they are identified at such a young age and begin working with them on their development then, not just basketball skills but increasingly there’s a focus on their mental health, their diets, just helping them build character and all of the important values around the sport,” he said.

Both sides holding an opt-out option on the current collective bargaining agreement, the league and the Players Association returned to the usual topic of draft eligibility once more. The CBA runs through the 2023-24 season.

Adding mental health designation as an option on injury reports and adjustments to the luxury tax penalties are more changes considered. Also discussed is building lasting equity for players beyond playing days, as proposed by the NBPA.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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