NBA Draft eligibility rules may be changing as early as 2021 according to a memo sent out by the league office to all 30 franchises. Zach Lowe of ESPN goes into detail about the contents of the memo in which the league indicates that no changes will be made prior to 2021, but alterations may be in the offing after.
Current draft rules contain a “one and done” restriction, stipulating that players must be 19 years of age or one year removed from high school graduation in order to be eligible for the draft. The rule came into force in 2005, a period in which drafting graduated seniors out of high school was common, as were flame-outs among young draftees.
Lowe points out that the advance warning contained in the memo serves as a caution to teams thinking of trading away picks in future drafts.
If such a change were to happen, it could create a single draft loaded with the best prospects from two consecutive high school classes.
The memo serves as something of an advisory to teams that might think about trading away future first-round picks in the lead-up to Thursday’s draft. “As we approach the NBA Draft on June 21,” the memo states, “and the increase in trade activity that often accompanies it, please be reminded of this ongoing review and the possibility that the eligibility rules could change” between 2021 and 2024.
Lowe’s article also discusses other initiatives meant to strengthen the relationship between the NBA and developing players, including the G-League.