NBA, NBPA won’t lower minimum age to 18 as latest CBA negotiations continue
The NBA won’t be lowering its minimum age requirement anytime soon.
The league and the National Basketball Players Association have stopped discussions surrounding lowering the minimum age for players amid their negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Currently, American players have to be 19 years old to enter the league. Both the NBA and the NBPA had discussed lowering that to 18, which would allow players to enter the NBA Draft right out of high school and would end the “one-and-done” era in college basketball, in the latest CBA discussions.
Those talks, however, were tabled. Per Wojnarowski, neither side felt strong enough about the issue to make a change.
The NBA increased the minimum draft age to 19 in 2005. Amir Johnson was the last player to be drafted out of high school, and Hall of Famers such as LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant also did so. Players can play on the G League Ignite team right out of high school instead of playing in college, an option that was introduced in recent years.
Per Wojnarowski, NBA owners and executives were “largely indifferent” or “fully against” scouting high school players again. Because players can now get paid before making it to the league, either through the G League Ignite or through NIL deals at the college level, there was less of a push to lower the age than there had been in recent years.
The NBA and the NBPA are still negotiating a new CBA and face a Friday night deadline to come to an agreement. If they don’t, the league faces the possibility of a labor stoppage in July if either side opts out of the final year of the current CBA.
Source: Yahoo Sports