The NBA has today submitted a proposal to the National Basketball Players Association, requesting that the league lower the draft-eligible age to 18 from 19.
Coincidentally, the formal proposal came less than 24 hours after Duke's star freshman, 18-year old Zion Williamson, suffered a mild knee sprain when his Nike PG 2.5 sneaker unexpectedly fell apart during Wednesday's nationally televised game against UNC.
Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today reports:
"The league and union have had informal discussions about lowering the age limit, and NBA commissioner Adam Silver is on record saying the current 19-year-old age limit is not working for the league or college basketball."The NBA's current rule, requiring players to be 19 years old or have completed one year of college before becoming eligible for the NBA Draft, was implemented in 2006. Several players, including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett were all successful in making the jump to the pros right out of high school.
"This is the first step in formal negotiations to lower the age limit by the 2022 draft. The issue is collectively bargained between the NBA and NBPA, and both sides need to agree to any rule change."
At the July NBA owners’ meeting, NBA commissioner Adam Silver told reporters:“My personal view is that we’re ready to make that change. … When I’ve weighed the pros and cons, given that Condoleezza Rice and her Commission (On College Basketball) has recommended to the NBA that those one-and-done players now come directly into the league, and in essence the college community is saying we do not want those players anymore. That sort of tips the scale in my mind that we should be taking a serious look at lowering our age to 18.”