NBA submits formal proposal to lower draft-eligible age from 19 to 18, per report
The NBA draft process could look drastically different by the time the 2022 draft rolls around
The NBA could be undergoing some very big changes when it comes to the draft process.
The NBA has submitted to the National Basketball Players Association a formal proposal that will lower the draft-eligible age to 18 from 19, USA TODAY Sports has learned.
The person requested anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss discussions between the league and the union.
The NBPA and its executive director Michele Roberts planned to review the proposal Monday at their post-All-Star Weekend meeting in the Bahamas.
The league and union have had informal discussions about lowering the age limit, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is on record saying the current 19-year-old age limit is not working for the league or college basketball.
If this change is put into effect, it would be official by the time the 2022 NBA Draft rolls around. Both the NBA and the Players Association would have to agree on any change to the current rules.
Commissioner Adam Silver has previously been critical of the current age restriction and doesn't think it's been working for the NBA.
"My personal view is that we're ready to make that change," Silver said at the owners meetings back in July. "When I've weighed the pros and cons, given that Condoleezza Rice and her Commission [On College Basketball] has recommended to the NBA that those one-and-done players now come directly into the league, and in essence the college community is saying we do not want those players anymore. That sort of tips the scale in my mind that we should be taking a serious look at lowering our age to 18."
The timing of the proposed rule change is very interesting because star Duke freshman Zion Williamson suffered a mild knee sprain against North Carolina on Wednesday when his shoe exploded in the opening minute of the contest. Depending on the results of his MRI, Williamson will have a huge decision to make as to whether he'll suit up for the rest of the season if the injury is severe enough.
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