Seemingly every year since the NBA instituted the “one and done” rule that forces players to be 19 when entering the draft, there has been a debate over whether the rule is a good or bad thing, both for the league and the players.
Recently, there has been the expectation that the league would lower the age limit back to 18 from 19 in the coming years, but with the expectation that it wouldn’t be until the 2022 Draft before that goes into effect. This year, the chatter about the age limit has only picked up due to the dominance of Zion Williamson at the collegiate level, with discussion reaching a fever pitch following his injury against North Carolina on Wednesday night.
On Thursday, in what is simply a coincidence, the NBA finally made an official proposal on lowering the age limit, that will be reviewe by the NBPA, per USA Today‘s Jeff Zillgitt. This doesn’t mean the age limit change will be accelerated to be put into place before the originally planned 2022 Draft, but it does mean a first step towards a change has been taken.
What comes next is negotiation for both sides over how to implement the age limit change, with the NBPA and NBA having to determine how best to protect both the league and players from ill-advised draft decisions regarding high schoolers. Still, this is a good, positive step towards a change that most have recognized as needed for some time.