ESPN report says NBA not likely to change age limit rule before 2020
Early Wednesday morning, inside a ballroom in Indianapolis, Condoleeza Rice and the rest of The Commission on College Basketball sat at the front of the room and unveiled their recommendations for how to clean up the mess that has made its way to the forefront of college basketball.
After first explaining the how and why of reaching their conclusions, Rice and company listed off the specific recommendations and kicked things off with a doozy — getting rid the one-and-done rule.
Doing that, of course, is up to the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association, not the NCAA or a special committee designed to get answers. And it does not appear that the NBA is quite ready to give them.
While the commission's report was the result of nearly seven months of hard work and investigation, the NBA's reaction came in roughly five hours. Just after 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski released a story citing sources that said the NBA and NBPA had no plans to lower the age requirement before the 2020 draft.
That would mean two more full draft classes would have to operate under the current rules, which, according to Wojnarowksi, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts have discussed in the past. Wojnarowski wrote: "Silver and Roberts have both expressed a desire to change the rule, but it remains to be seen how the process of negotiating a rule change between the league and players will unfold."
Rice and the college basketball commission said Wednesday that their recommendation was for something to change by the start of next basketball season. If it hasn't, Rice said, the committee would be prepared to reconvene and examine a number of possible alternatives that range from ruling freshmen to be ineligible or locking in scholarships for three or four years.
The NBA does allow high school players to make the jump directly to the ever-improving and expanding G League without waiting and a couple of players, including former Syracuse commitment and McDonald's All-American, Darius Bazley, in this year's class already are planning to take advantage of that rule.
Whether there's more of that ahead depends almost entirely on how firm the NBA is in his stance about no changes before 2020 and college basketball's reaction to it.
According to Wojnarowksi's article, the NBA has a record 236 early-entry candidates for the 2018 NBA Draft, which includes 181 NCAA and 81 international players, which is a 30 percent increase on the 2017 draft.