Five notes from the proposed NBA draft age reduction and how it might affect college basketball

NBA and NBPA They are said to be in advanced conversationswhich is expected to be approved soon, lowering the age of eligibility for registration from 19 to 18 as soon as 2024. The move, which could be agreed as soon as this week as part of ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations, would send the NBA back to a bygone era. Where odds can jump from high school to the NBA and you’ll effectively eliminate one era and done – the downstream impact on college basketball that arose after the 2005 NBA change of eligibility age from 18 to 19.

College basketball thrived during the solo era with iconic teams and players who were unlikely to ever set foot on a college campus were it not for the NBA minimum age – Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis, Derek Rose, John Wall and many more who provided indelible moments and big seasons for the sport – So the impending change to the age of 18 for enlistment eligibility would mark another dramatic moment of change in basketball. The change will have an echo effect not only affecting the NBA and college hoops but other professional avenues in and out of the states as well.

Here are five thoughts on the implications of expected approval of a change in the age limit.

1. Talent Drain in College Basketball

The solo era produced stars and seasons that would be considered some of the sport’s best and brightest in history. General Zion Williamson. Run Anthony Davis NCAA Championship. John Wall-DeMarcus Cousins’ Team of the Year in Kentucky. Even Kid Cunningham, Scotty Barnes, and Evan Mobley will be fondly remembered as legends in their own right after forging unique paths to funky blue colleges.

Not only will they be big names that college hoops will miss, either. Over the past decade, nearly three real freshmen have been one person and all Americans are on the first, second, or third team as constructed by the Associated Press. It was big names and fun attractions, but it was also valuable and fruitful. They will be replaced by other recruits in the post-solo era just as one era ago and did, but the prospect of playing a super-flame NBA in college will become more likely. There will still be one person to show up as D’Angelo Russell or Karl-Anthony Towns, but it’s very likely there will be Ja Morants, Jaden Iveys or Corey Kisperts – guys who broke into the NBA scene after at least one season in college. Meanwhile, real freshmen supernovae are more likely to take their talents down the NBA route after a change of age than to risk going to college—even if the rights to name, image, and likeness somewhat mitigate that risk.

2. Players who are not in college pose a greater risk

For NBA teams, that’s the good: The risk profile when the qualifying age changes to 18 will change for the better. If you’re the Mavericks and you’re picking, say, twenty-second place overall, you can make a decision: Take a safe second-year player from Marquette who has a 3D upward trend, or make a big swing at an 18-year-old with a class pedigree. Five stars, and who’s a prolific three-tier scorer? Big swings like this will be more regularly available to teams in the draft.

For NBA teams, this volatility and dynamic risk profile can also be poor. If you don’t do your due diligence, relying solely on high school employment or production ratings, it could cost you a lot of time. For example: Skal Labissiere, Cheick Diallo, Ivan Rabb and Le’Bryan Nash would have been top 10 picks for the NBA Draft. Their published sample sizes in the college ensured that they were not. NBA teams will not be given that luxury going forward.

3. Double Delight Project is imminent

My friend and colleague Sam Quinn did a great job explaining what a “double draft” is – you can Read that and more here — but this rapid highlighting disappears at the heart of why the much-discussed double draft is probably one of two or three more interesting incoming effects than changing age eligibility.

All the best freshmen from the 2023-24 season will be available as usual…but also the best high school students graduating in 2024. This has led many to refer to 2024 as a “dual” project, although it’s a bit of a misnomer. exaggerated. It is likely that some high school students will go to college in search of a friendlier draft process in 2025, and we may see more potential VIPs throw their names into the ring in 2023 to avoid the double draft. However, the initial talent on the draft lineup in 2024 should be impressive.

If the change takes effect in 2024, then teams will inevitably be hoarding – or trying to store – the picks in 2024. Not only will the crop be stronger at the top because it will be a class made up of high school and college first-time players, but it will likely summon strength In the middle and in the last part of the draft as well. Even mid-to-late first-round picks can carry the value of a mid-to-late lottery pick in the average year.

As you might guess, Sam Presti and The Thunder are big beneficiaries of this potential change. They have an unprotected first manager from another team in 2024 in addition to their own.

The Rockets and Pelicans will also have their first unprotected planes in 2024 as well. This has always been a possibility – the age of eligibility for renewal has long been likely to change in 2023 or 2024 – but the calculus will change dramatically in the 2024 class. Teams will bow out to try and engage in the double draft and the choices in that course may be worth a premium – Something to watch as the trading market adjusts over the next few months to a new reality.

4. College basketball team growing up

Since singles no longer (or at least rarely) play a season of college basketball, the average age of players in college hoops will likely age accordingly again as it was in the early 2000s. During the singles era, and especially over the past decade, an NCAA championship team averaged roughly 94th nationally in terms of experience as measured by KenPom.com. (More on how to calculate this here.From 2007-2010, in the early years of the singles era and before teams were built around one and did consistently, every NCAA Champion was a Top 20 Champion in the overall experience.

Older teams meant better teams. This is likely a byproduct of the norm change in age. There will be more older players on a more consistent basis, which likely means more famous faces appear more often and for a longer period of time, which in the NIL era could mean big money for the big names that stay in the college arena for more than a year. Rather than the top dollar going to one person with great marketability, college players — Drew TImmes, Oscar Tshiebwes and Hunter Dickinsons — would attract bigger dollars on the NIL front that might not otherwise be recognized.

5. Non-professional tracks in the NBA will not be attractive to recruits

In my view, college collar naysayers will continue to be college collar naysayers. That is, their expectations about the end of the sport would be greatly exaggerated.

It’s other career paths that will hurt more than college collars. G League Ignite was created several years ago with the idea that top potential customers could use it as an alternative route to the university. Same for Overtime Elite and Rising Stars with NBL. Their pitches were similar: We can prepare you to be a professional until you are draft-qualified.

These tournaments will continue to exist but are unlikely to be able to recruit in the ways they did before. You don’t have to prepare to be an NBA player anymore. If you are 18 years old, you can quite simply. . . be one.

Take the first G League Ignite as an example: Jonathan Kominga and Galen Green were more likely to enter the draft due to their age qualifications under the new rules. Maybe Daishen Nix too. Last year, Dyson Daniels could have done the same.

Some of the top recruits who have seen alternative professional tracks as a lucrative way to cash in before the NBA won’t make tough decisions anymore. By going to college, they can still earn money. Going to alternative professional paths, they can still make money. But for the elite, an NBA draft entry will likely jump to the front of the class as the No. 1 favorite.

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