THE National Basketball Association (NBA) submitted a proposal to the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to lower the age bracket for the eligibility to sign for the NBA draft from 19 years old down to 18 years old.
This is due to the incident involving the college phenomenon, Duke’s Zion Williamson, going down with a knee injury, just 34 seconds into the game.
This incident sparked a lot of debates within the basketball community, whether or not Williamson should rest for the remainder of the college season to save his health in time for the 2019 NBA Draft or should he continue playing towards the collegiate national championship.
Sports analysts and critics also discussed how these circumstances are at a disadvantage for Williamson – the National Collegiate Association of America (NCAA) gaining profit on Williamson’s stardom and how Williamson isn’t given his due credit despite the financial amount gained by the NCAA through his stardom.
With these issues at hand, the NBA has taken action to avoid these types of incidents happening to future NBA talents and superstars playing in the collegiate level. The NBPA and NBA has long discussed the age-eligibility for the NBA draft for years.
However, it is now an issue they have to settle due to the Williamson incident.
According to Michele Roberts – the executive director of the NBPA, they are to review the proposal at a meeting on Monday, February 25. In addition, NBA commissioner Adam Silver discussed the possibility of lowering the age limit for the draft last July at a meeting with NBA team owners.
With this, if the proposal checks out, the changes would be applied around 2022. This would give teams to adjust their draft picks and strategy. Moreover, this would allow players to enter the NBA without going through the collegiate level. The league would also allow high school players to improve before going to the league by spending time in the G-League before going professional.
Last 2005, the “one-and-done rule” was implemented in the NBA to allow players to mature in the collegiate level before going professional and to help them choose between going to the NBA or continuing their degrees. Thus, the age-eligibility of the NBA Draft was changed from 18 to 19 years old.
This rule has been in discussion since its implementation due to the raw talent in display from high-school players that might be useful in the NBA. Some examples of these players who went to the NBA straight out of high school turned out to be all-time greats like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and others. (Jayvee Gulfan, USC intern)