Adam Silver in favor of lowering NBA’s age limit, ‘hopeful’ change will be made in upcoming CBA

LAS VEGAS — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Tuesday he was “hopeful” there would be an NBA age limit change in the next collective bargaining agreement, calling it “the right thing to do.”

“I think there is a chance [to change it]said Silver during his annual press conference concluding meetings of the league’s Board of Governors during Summer League.

“It is [based on] bigger conversations than just going from 19 to 18, but I have on record, weighing all these different considerations, I think that would be the right thing to do and I’m confident that we’ll change that next collective bargaining cycle, which is in will take place in the next few years.”

This isn’t the first time the idea of ​​changing the age limit has surfaced in recent years, including negotiations between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association a few years ago that ultimately fell through.

But Silver said the age limit change will be “clearly on the table” in forthcoming collective bargaining that has started between the league and the players’ union, led by a new chief executive in Tamika Tremaglio.

Silver noted that talks are still at an early stage.

Both sides have a chance to exit the current deal this winter, which would establish the potential for the CBA to expire next summer. However, both sides have expressed plenty of optimism that, like in 2016 – the last time the league was in this position – an agreement will be reached before that opt-out deadline.

Silver himself admitted that in the past he’d preferred to raise the age limit to 20, which theoretically means players would spend two years between high school and the NBA. But after seeing how things have evolved over time – including, he said, the proliferation of NIL deals and “many societal changes” and the recommendations of the NCAA committee led by Condoleezza Rice on this Topic – has he changed his mind.

“It may be that it’s in all of our best interests that we act on these young players, especially because they’re recognized in our sport at such a young age,” Silver said, “and then work with them on their development, not just basketball skills, but increasingly the focus is on their mental health, their diet, just helping them build their character and all the important values ​​around the sport.”

The NBA changed its age limit from 18 to 19 in 2005 after a number of high school-to-NBA prospects, which included Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and Tracy McGrady in addition to LeBron James and Dwight Howard, had been changed in the NBA 10 years earlier.

Silver addressed a number of other issues Tuesday, including:

CHANGE foul penalty

The NBA has completed the process of changing the transition take foul rule, ending years of debate over what to do with the long-maligned tactic.

The league board closed the matter on Tuesday, approving a plan to award a free throw if teams are penalized by the foul.

“In general, it was optimistic to come after our meeting,” Silver said. “People are thrilled that as we start next season we will be on our normal path in terms of starting the season, in terms of our protocols around the game, particularly in terms of the health and safety of our players. “

It came as no surprise that the league changed the penalty for fouls; Silver told The Associated Press in early June that this was changing, but warned the new rule could still be adjusted in the coming years.

The take foul — in which the defender fails to play the ball — is what the league describes as one that occurs either “during a transitional scoring opportunity or immediately after a change of possession and before the offensive team has had an opportunity to advance the ball.” The exception is the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime.

The new penalty for such a foul is a free throw – which may be attempted by any player of the offended team in play at the time of the foul – and continued possession of the ball.


The NBA has had a tremendous fiscal year, with revenues exceeding $10 billion for the first time and basketball revenues of $8.9 billion, another record.

Silver said the numbers are particularly strong considering the league is still grappling with a pandemic, and it wasn’t long ago that some questioned whether the sport could survive the virus — at least in that Sense of whether people wanted to gather again.

“The numbers surprised me to some extent because they beat forecasts and the forecasts reflect where we think our business is headed,” said Silver. “I think it’s quite remarkable where we’ve come from two and a half years ago.”


Kevin Durant is signed to the Brooklyn Nets for another four years, and his trade request was one of the biggest stories of the offseason.

It wasn’t one that Silver particularly enjoyed.

“This must be a two-way street,” Silver said. “Teams offer players tremendous security and guarantees, and in return they are expected to fulfill their end of the bargain. There are always conversations that go on behind closed doors between players and reps and teams, but we don’t like to see players requesting trades and we don’t want it to play out the way it is.”


The play-in tournament was widely considered a success, so it came as no surprise that the league is keeping it.

The play-in tournament – in its current form – has been used in each of the last two seasons, with teams finishing 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th in the East and West divisions battling it out for the final two playoffs -Places to determine each conference.

The #7 team plays against the #8 team, with the winner securing the #7 in the playoffs. The #9 team plays the #10 team, with the loser eliminating and the winner taking on the team that lost the 7-8 game. The winner of this matchup is seed number 8.

It’s been a hit, largely because it tends to convey a March Madness feel — four elimination games before the playoffs even begin — and gives more teams an incentive not to tank for better odds in the draft lottery.

During the restart bubble at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., there was a play-in element in 2020 where the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies for 8th place in the Western Conference. Memphis could have gotten the No. 8 seed that year by beating Portland twice; The Blazers only needed to win one game to secure the spot.


Load management – the term now used when a player has to sit out a game to rest – has been a challenge for the league and its teams in recent years. Silver said discussions would continue with the Players’ Association as the sides get more involved in negotiations on the next collective agreement.

The league has taken steps, fueled by sleep science and other data, to try to make the schedule more player-friendly in recent years. The stretches of four games in five nights have been eliminated, cases of back-to-back games have dwindled, and the league has even tinkered with keeping teams in the same street town for back-to-back games to limit travel throughout the season.

Sometimes a player sits anyway. Silver suggested it might be time to consider adding money as an incentive to play more often.

“I’m all for guaranteed contracts,” Silver said. “But maybe some extra money should be based on the number of games played and the results of those games on top of your typical guaranteed contracts. I mean…that’s how most industries work where there’s financial incentives — even among highly paid executives for performance.”


The NBA and NBPA announced a new program — jointly funded — to make payments to about 115 ABA players who have played at least three seasons but have not qualified for NBA pensions. You will receive “recognition payments” of $3,828 per year of service.

“Our players have a genuine sense of appreciation for those who paved the way and helped us achieve the success we enjoy today,” said Tremaglio. “We’ve always viewed the ABA players as part of our fraternity, and we’re proud to finally recognize them with this benefit.”

Silver said the league and players “felt a need to act on behalf of these former ABA players who are aging and, in many cases, facing difficult economic circumstances.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Adam Silver in favor of lowering NBA’s age limit, ‘hopeful’ change will be made in upcoming CBA

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