At his yearly new conference following the league’s Board of Governors meetings in Las Vegas, NBA Commish Adam Silver said that he was “hopeful” the league would reduce the age of entrance from 19 1o 18., saying the change would be “the right things to.”
“I think there’s an opportunity [to change it],” Silver said, via ESPN. “It’s [based on] larger conversations than just whether we go from 19 to 18, but I’m on record: When I balance all of these various considerations, I think that would be the right thing to do and I am hopeful that that’s a change we make in this next collective bargaining cycle, which will happen in the next couple years.”
Silver added that he believes it is in the Association’s and the players’ best interests to interact with the players at a younger age to help develop these young men, on and off the court ( you know, the way it used to happen when players attended college for multiple years).
“It may be the case that it’s in all of our interests that we start impacting with these young players, especially because in our sport they are identified at such a young age,. And begin working with them on their development then, not just basketball skills but increasingly there’s a focus on their mental health, their diets, just helping them build character and all of the important values around the sport.”
The limit was changed from 18 to 19 back in 2005, partly to curtail the exodus of highly-touted high school players that were eschewing college altogether, many times to their own detriment, as there were many who were not ready to mae that leap. Another side effect was that for many of the elite platers, it turned college into a place merely to wipe their sneakers and bide their time before the draft.
If the league makes the decision to lower the eligibility age back to 18, it would behoove the NBA, tp bolster their minor-league program, i.e. the D-League to not only deepen the readily available talent pool that is available to teams, It can also server as a development group for the players who may need a little more seasoning ( because maybe they were not ready to make the jump tot he Association) but also to keep players from falling through the cracks who are very talented, but could nto attend college for a myriad of reasons.