The NBA and NBPA are expected to agree to end ‘one rule and it is done’, and change the enlistment age to 18 in the next CBA: Sources

The The National Basketball Association and the NBA Players Association are expected to agree to change the age of eligibility to NBA The draft is 19-18, paving the way for the return of the high school players making the NBA jump, per sources with knowledge of the discussions. The minimum age for jumps from high school to the NBA will go into effect as early as the 2024 NBA Draft.

Commissioner Adam Silver said in July that he “hopes” to change the rule in the next collective bargaining agreement cycle, and both sides appear eager to lower the age of eligibility to enlist.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) set the minimum enlistment age at 19 in 2005. Team owners and front-office executives couldn’t help themselves investing high draft picks and tens of millions of dollars in teens who graduated straight from high school. There have been a bunch of success stories: Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, LeBron James And Dwight Howard can attest to that, among many other things.

However, not everyone who came out of high school was as good as these players, and some of them went bankrupt in the NBA. So the league’s solution was to have them wait another year before getting into the NBA and earning millions of dollars, which led to the term “one thing rule.”

Since 2005, the sports landscape has undergone drastic changes and has opened more doors for 18-year-olds to earn money before they reach the NBA. The biggest change came in June 2021 when the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark decision that the NCAA cannot restrict education-related payments to student-athletes and that college players can be compensated through name, image and likeness deals. Players can also drop out of college and earn money by joining the G League or playing abroad.

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With the December 15 mutual opt-out date looming for the NBA and the Players Association under the current CBA, both sides are in the midst of serious talks about key points that will shape the league’s new CBA. Sources said that senior officials from the NBA and the National Basketball Association will hold their next in-person meeting at the end of this month the athletesession that will pave the way for the end result.

For more information on the position of the NBA and NBPA in CBA talks, read Shams Charania Interview with NBPA CEO Tamika Tremaglio here.

(Photo: Brad Benner/USA Today)

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