NBA, NBPA To Discuss Lowering Draft Age Eligibility

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There have been a lot of discussions between teams and players this NBA offseason whether it came to free agent deals or trades being consummated. However, the most important negotiations are still ongoing now and they are between the league and Players Association.

There is a mutual opt-out date on December 15th approaching fast, as the league and NBPA have engaged in serious negotiations according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. While these negotiations are usually tenuous and high-stress, the most recent discussions have been held in a positive environment. 

That is likely the only positive to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic for the league, as they have been adjusting the CBA for two years now to fit the ever-changing landscape. Goodwill was built between the sides during that time and hopefully, it can help avoid a work stoppage and get things done for the new CBA.

While fans are focused on training camp opening up next week, that is also when the two sides will meet in person again to discuss the CBA. There have been some proposals exchanged by both sides as they are hoping some tweaks can be made.

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One of the discussions that will be held is what to do with the NBA Draft. The eligibility rules could be tweaked again. According to The Athletic, the age will be dropping back to 18 years old, which would make high school players eligible for the NBA draft once again.

“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.

The NBA set the draft age limit at 19 years old in 2005. Silver said in July that he was “hopeful” for the rule changing in the next CBA cycle, and both sides appear motivated to reduce the age eligibility for the draft.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Latest Minimum Age Eligibility Updates & Draft Coverage

The reduced age limit for high school-to-NBA jumps would go into effect as early as the 2024 NBA Draft.”

The 2024 NBA Draft is one that many people around the league and fans alike have had their eyes on for a while. That is the year that Bronny James, the son of LeBron James, could be eligible for the draft.

LeBron has made it clear that he wants to finish his career playing alongside his son, which makes that draft all the more important. If a team adds Bronny to the roster, it will almost assuredly be adding The King to the mix later on that summer as well in free agency.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Latest Minimum Age Eligibility Updates & Draft Coverage

His contract lines up perfectly with being able to choose his next team in 2024. He signed a two-year extension with the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason, which guarantees he will be in purple and gold for two more seasons. However, he has a player option for the 2024-25 season, which will likely be declined so he can sign with the team that his son ends up on.