In light of reporting from The Athletic’s Shams Charania suggesting that the NBA will consider allowing players to be drafted directly from high school, it’s time to take a stroll down memory lane. Throughout the NBA’s history, eligibility rules have been shifted and amended frequently.
The last shift, however, came in 2005, when a minimum age of 19 was declared via the league’s updated Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The league is beginning its approach to an opt-out date for its current CBA, which will expire at the conclusion of the 2023-24 NBA season.
NBA considers allowing 18-years-olds to enter the draft out of high school.
Modifications to the CBA will make way for many shifts in the structure of the league, including an updated salary cap, updated mental health guidelines and the possible return of players being drafted directly out of high school, so long as they are 18 years or older.
Before looking ahead at who’s to come, it’s important to look back at those who paved the way for this rising talent hoping to make this jump. We begin with the first player to forego his college eligibility and make the jump to NBA hoops.
Please note that only players who were drafted into the NBA will be included, meaning those who jumped from high school to the A.B.A. before the merger are not being considered.