While the NBA and players association attempt to reach a deal on a new collective-bargaining agreement before the March 31 opt-out deadline, it seems there are a few minor hurdles.
For one, some veteran players may not be totally in favor of removing the age limit for draft prospects, as relayed by Tim Bontemps of ESPN.
Currently, draft prospects must be one year removed from high school, or 19-year old, before being draft eligible.
But allowing younger players to come in means less job security for older veterans — as there are only so many roster spots to go around. It’s simple math.
Teams often draft high schoolers, or at least when it was allowed, with an eye toward the future. Those prospects can take the spots of “win-now” veterans, and often at a much cheaper rate. At least for the first several seasons.
Per Bontemps, it’s pretty clear that the idea of lowering the age limit remains very much up in the air.
“While the union said it was open to the idea, it was clear any such change would have to be met with some ability to ensure jobs for veteran players would remain in place,” Bontemps wrote. “There would also need to be a structure in place to ensure those young players coming into the NBA have the best chance to succeed.”
Union director Tamika Tremaglio added that the age-limit proposal merits further discussion.
“This is something that we have had conversations about,” she said, via Bontemps. “In our meetings today, we spent a lot of time talking about that.
“We recognize that we really do need to make sure that we have the structure in place, if we’re going to have people join the league at the age of 18. 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.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has indicated he is in favor of lowering the draft age limit.
Pelicans guard CJ McCollum currently serves as president of the players association, with Celtics forward Grant Williams serving as first vice president. As we relayed here, Cavs guard Donovan Mitchell and Grizzlies forward/center Jaren Jackson Jr. have been named vice presidents.
Interesting update from @TimBontemps on where the NBA Players Association stands in regards to the elimination of the NBA age limit. Seems there’s some (understandable) concern from NBA veterans in regards to jobs being eliminated. pic.twitter.com/IBBskewiWv
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) February 19, 2023
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