NFL

Can NBA players be drafted from high school?

What do Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Tracy McGrady have in common? Aside from being star players, they were also drafted from high school into the NBA.

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Can NBA players be drafted from high school?

Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Tracy McGrady are all basketball greats that have been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. One other thing they have in common is that they were all drafted from high school.

All-Star players LeBron James and Dwight Howard were, as well, and were in fact selected first overall in the NBA draft- James in 2003, and Howard in 2004.

All these players are part of the list of a total of 41 high school draftees in the NBA draft.

NBA bans high school drafting

The list has stopped growing however, as basketball players can no longer be drafted from high school. Since 2005, the drafting of high school players has been banned by the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the NBPA.

The agreement states that to be eligible for drafting, one must be at least 19 years of age and one year removed from the time he graduated from high school; or if he didn’t graduate, the time he would have graduated.

The birth of "one-and-done"

This gave rise to the concept of “one-and-done” in 2006. Since players couldn’t join the NBA straight out of high school, they would attend college for a year and then drop out once they became eligible for the draft.

One reason for upping the age limit was to increase the level of play in the league. Players who join the NBA are more mature physically and more experienced, thus making the games more polished.

Also, more polish means more pizzazz, which brings in more fans, and thus more ticket sales and higher viewership ratings.

Another consideration is that success in high school basketball does not always translate to stellar performance in the NBA. It would be easier to predict future success in the league after seeing how the athlete performs in college.

However, the NBA proposed lowering the age requirement of 19 to 18 two years ago.

Both the NBA and the NBPA have to agree if this guideline is to be changed. The current CBA will be in place until the end of the 2023-24 season. But if talks go smoothly, the age limit may be lowered by the time the 2022 NBA draft is held.