Report: NBA Expected to Lower the Age for Draft Eligibility

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It may only be a matter of time before the top NBA prospects in the country can skip a step.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the NBA and NBPA are having serious discussions about what the league’s next CBA might look like. Both sides have the option to opt out of the current rulebook in December, which means establishing a new set of principles for the years to come is vital. And we already know one of those proposed principles could drastically shake up how front offices go about their business down the road.

Charania reports that both sides are expected to agree upon a change in the NBA’s draft-eligibility age:

The league and NBPA are expected to agree on moving the age eligibility for the NBA Draft from 19 years old to 18, clearing the way for the return of high school players who want to make the leap to the NBA, per sources with knowledge of the discussions.

If both sides give the thumbs up, it would be the first time since 2005 that the NBA allowed high school talent to immediately enter the league. And I can only imagine how this makes college programs feel.

The one-and-done nature of college basketball has become extremely prevalent over the past decade or so. College programs have already had to adjust to that reality, and this will only add another complicated layer to the equation. After all, why go to college for a year if an NBA team is ready to help you develop?

Conversley, this could have quite a major impact on the rebuilding process for teams around the league. We all know how long it can take for a big-name one-and-done player to fully adjust to the NBA, and we could only see that adjustment period extended when your hoping to turn a fresh-out-of-high school player into a franchise cornerstone.

Charania wrote that the draft eligibility change could go into effect as soon as 2024, so this will be something to keep an eye on over the next two NBA seasons. Meanwhile, the addition of more mental health services and harsher luxury tax penalities have also been discussed in league circles, and you can read much more about all of that below:

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Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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