New NBA CBA Could Dramatically Change NBA Draft Eligibility Rules

The next iteration of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement will focus heavily on the NBA Draft eligibility rules.

Nobody wants a lockout in pro sports. The MLB lockout that threatened the 2022 MLB season is a reminder of how harsh the business side of the professional sports world can be.

Thankfully for MLB fans, the lockdown didn’t cancel the season, although it could have. And NBA fans should be pleased now that the relationship between the league and its players appears to be a lot more cooperative than in MLB.

In fact, news surfaced from Shams Charaniya on Monday about what to expect in the upcoming Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Charania’s full report (subscription required) gives some information about the working relationship between the league and the players union. The coronavirus pandemic created the need to amend the CBA on the fly to bring sports back in a rapidly changing environment. Developments between the two sides focused on their resilience to complete the 2020 season at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

although no one will Desire As for the pandemic, the barriers created by it have created a bond between the league and the players that looks very different than other pro sports leagues.

The changes pointed out by Charaniya were the expected adjustments to the draft eligibility age.

NBA Draft eligibility may change with new CBA

It’s a change we expected: As Charaniya reports, the NBA will likely lower the NBA Draft eligibility age from 19 to 18.

Currently, players out of high school are usually required to play a year in college or overseas to become eligible, which has proved somewhat wasteful in some cases.

Ben Simmons is a notable example. While he was more than ready for the NBA in 2015, he had to play a year in college before leaving for the first time in 2016. Simmons opted to spend that year at LSU, and at times it seemed because his draft skills were high or low lock-in, creating some uncertainty about aspects of his skills that made it difficult for teams to assess his readiness. Done.

LaMelo Ball is another example, playing professionally in and around college solely to earn money while he waited for his chance in the NBA. Similarly, Ball would have been drafted right out of high school if he had qualified.

The advantage for players is that they do not have to delay earning professional money without the security of a contract in college and risk a significant injury. It gives them more agency than they like.

The upside to college programs is that it will eliminate some one-and-done examples and ensure that the players who attend each school actually want to be there.

And finally, the upside for the NBA and fans is that they can increasingly add young talent to the league. Although some of the pre-2005 high-school-to-NBA examples didn’t always occur, some of the game’s most exciting players were straight out of high school.

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