NBA, NBPA expected to agree on lowering draft eligibility age to 18, CBA negotiations ongoing, per report

Mon, Sep 19, 2022
NBA News (AP)

NBA, NBPA expected to agree on lowering draft eligibility age to 18, CBA negotiations ongoing, per report

The NBA and NBPA have negotiated a turbulent and unprecedented few years due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the league returning to a relative state of stability, the two sides now need to move forward by negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement. The current deal is not set to expire for two years, but both sides have an opt out that they can exercise on Dec. 15, and the hope, presumably, is to agree on a new deal by then.'

Early talks between the two sides have been positive, per The Athletic. They will meet again this week, and the league has sent proposals to the union for consideration. Several key points are on the table for renegotiation. According to Shams Charania, these are some of the biggest:

  • The league and union are expected to agree to move the minimum age for NBA Draft eligibility from 19 to 18. The league increased the minimum ahead of the 2007 draft, but moving it back down would clear the way for high schoolers to become eligible again. This change could come as soon as 2024, setting the stage for a long-rumored "double" draft in which the best high-school seniors are eligible alongside the top college freshmen who had to wait a year.
  • One major goal for the NBPA "is the idea of building lasting equity for its players beyond their playing days." What form exactly this could take is not yet clear, but one solution the NBPA has brought forth is the idea of creating a players-only fund that would help star players, who are critical in increasing franchise valuations, eventually become part of ownership groups when teams are put up for sale. "Our players having money when they're done playing, and setting them up in a way that it happens for them -- that's what equity is," union executive director Tamika Tremaglio said.
  • Both sides are discussing measures that would allow players to treat mental health issues as they currently do physical injuries. Ben Simmons notably missed last season in part because he claimed he was mentally unable to play.
  • Changes to the league's luxury-tax formula are being discussed, perhaps making it more punitive. The idea of a hard cap imposed on all 30 teams at all times is viewed as a non-starter, but the formula, which was already made harsher in the 2011 CBA, could make it even harder for teams to spend beyond a certain level.

The NBA and its union have enjoyed more than a decade of labor peace since the 2011 CBA. Commissioner Adam Silver has made building relationships with players a priority, and at this point, all signs appear to point to a new deal. There are still plenty of details to iron out, but with the league prospering, it's in everybody's best interests to get a deal done.'

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