After the influx of 17 year-olds in the NBA Draft of the mid-90s to early-00s that brought us transcendental talents like Kevin Garnett, Tracy McGrady, and Kobe Bryant — the NBA and the NBPA, mutually agreed to put the nix on drafting high schoolers and set the age limit to 19 during CBA negotiations in 2005. The argument for the rule change is that teenagers are typically unprepared and immature for the rigors of the league, and many fizzle out compared to those who actually make an impact. There are also concerns about players foregoing the educational value of going to college since an average NBA player’s career isn’t all that long.
This rule was colloquially known as the “One-and-done,” referring to potential draftees being eligible for the draft as long as they have one year of college experience. This title is also a meta reference to the loophole itself, which proves that this safeguard is essentially ineffective in preventing raw teenagers from being selected (typically in the lottery) as they can easily skirt the age restrictions by just suiting up for a year and bailing.
Now that the NBA has a new commissioner in the more forward-thinking Adam Silver, the league hinted that the rule may be on its way out — and it may actually be gone sooner rather than later.
Adam Silver hints that one-and-done is close to being done.
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) July 11, 2018
Silver on 18 year olds being draft eligible: “We’re ready to make that change. It may take some time.”
— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) July 11, 2018
It’s not yet official but at least the wheels are turning on abolishing the rule that has polarized many. If this pans out, we could be seeing teenage phenoms like Ben Simmons a lot earlier, but perhaps even some Kwame Browns.