The NBPA Is Reportedly ‘Open’ On Lowering The Age To Enter The NBA Draft Back To 18

NBA draft pic

Back in 2005, the league raised the age requirement to enter the NBA draft from 18 to 19. This required players to attend at least one year of school or play as season in the G League or even overseas like we’ve seen in the past. However, it’s been reported that the NBPA are “open” to lowering the age limit for the draft back to 18. It can’t happen overnight, but it’s something that has certainly been discussed for a number of years now. 

Back in July, Commissioner Adam Silver spoke on this topic as well and said that the league hopes to have this done and that it would be the right thing to do. Nothing has happened yet, but young players can be hopeful that the league can get this done within the next two-to-three seasons. Possibly even less.

When will we see the league and NBPA agree on lowering the draft age back to 18?

One of the biggest challenges of lowering the age limit back to 18 is that NBA veterans do not wan to loose their jobs quicker than they had been in the past. The league needs to have a plan in place where veterans are helping the young player grow, while the vets also do not feel threatened of losing job security.

The last player to be drafted at 18 years old was Amir Johnson to the Detroit Pistons back in 2005. Johnson did not have a storied NBA career like some of the best players to come to the league out of high school. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Dwight Howard to name a few.

NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio spoke in detail on what lowering the draft age might look for the league and had this to say.

“We also appreciate that there is a lot of benefit to really having veterans who can bring those 18-year-olds along. And so you know, certainly anything that we would even consider, to be quite honest, would have to include a component that would allow veterans to be a part of it as well.” – Tamika Tremaglio

Commissioner Silver also stated they would try and have this done before the end of the next CBA. It ends after the 2023-24 season, meaning players could potentially get drafted at 18 again starting in 2024.