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NBA reportedly proposes to lower the draft-eligible age to 18

Potential change must be approved by NBA and NBPA

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2019 NBA All Star Commissioner’s Media Availability Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The NBA has submitted a proposal to the NBA Players Association to lower the draft-eligible age from 19 years old to 18, according to USA Today. This is the first step in a process that could end the one-and-done era in college basketball.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver hasn’t always been in favor of lowering the draft age, but at a media conference at Summer League in July, it felt like a foregone conclusion.

“My personal view is that we’re ready to make that change,” Silver said. “That it won’t come immediately. When I’ve weighed the pros and cons, given that Condoleezza Rice and her commission 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 goal has been to lower the draft-eligible age by 2022, allowing NBA teams time to properly prepare their assets and draft selections. Teams are coveting 2022 picks. But both the NBA and NBPA need to collectively bargain to pass any rule change.

Though the timing seems fishy with Zion Williamson, one of college basketball’s most famous and talented freshmen, going down with a potentially serious knee injury, USA Today says the timing is coincidental. Williamson’s injury has re-energized the preps-to-pros debate however, with DeMarcus Cousins calling the NCAA bullsh—, and Donovan Mitchell and Isaiah Thomas speaking out as well.