Sources — NBA, NBPA table minimum age discussion in CBA talks
Discussions about lowering the minimum age for participation in the NBA draft are no longer part of the league’s working talks with the National Basketball Players Association, paving the way for the “one-and-done” era to continue for the foreseeable future, sources said with ESPN on Friday.
Talks about lowering the minimum age limit for American players from 19 to 18 and allowing players to move back from high school to the NBA were part of ongoing talks for a new collective bargaining agreement, but ultimately neither side felt strong enough to change to make it a significant bargaining chip, sources said.
The NBA and NBPA face a Friday night deadline to avoid a league exit from the final year of the current 2023-24 collective bargaining agreement.
Sources told ESPN on Friday afternoon that talks on a new long-term CBA are progressing and an agreement before the deadline appears within reach. However, there are still gaps that need to be filled in an agreement.
NBA owners and executives have been largely indifferent or totally opposed to returning to high school gymnasiums to rate players, and even less enthusiastic about this idea without concessions from the NBPA, greater access to pre-draft player medical information and combine to allow increased participation in multiple elements of the draft, sources said.
Players are allowed out of high school for a pre-draft year in the league’s development system as part of the G League Ignite team, which offers substantial six-figure salaries and support opportunities.
NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio has spoken publicly about veteran players’ concerns that 18-year-old players are taking roster spots away as a reason for a pause in age reductions. Also, the increase in significant financial opportunities for players prior to entering the NBA — including name, image and likeness rights in NCAA basketball and actual contracted pay with the G League Ignite and Overtime Elite programs — has the belief of the NBPA tempered that this required an aggressive push to lower the draft limit, sources said.
“We recognize that if we’re going to have people joining the league at age 18, we really have to make sure we have the structure,” Tremaglio said at All-Star Weekend. “We also appreciate that there are a lot of perks to really having veterans that those 18-year-olds can bring with them. To be honest, certainly anything we would even consider would have to include a component that would allow veterans to participate as well.”
The NBA raised the draft draft age to 19 in 2005. Several Preps-to-the-Pros players in the earlier era thrived with Hall of Fame-caliber careers, including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, and Dwight Howard.
https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/36018751/sources-nba-nbpa-table-minimum-age-discussion-cba-talks Sources — NBA, NBPA table minimum age discussion in CBA talks