The End of the One and Done Age Limit for the NBA

The NBA recently submitted a formal proposal to its Player’s Association to lower the draft eligibility age from 19 to 18. This move to end the “one and done” era, requiring that players spend at least one season in college or overseas, will require both the league and player’s association to amend their current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Although the league’s current CBA does not end until the end of the 2023-2024 season, the league is proposing this amendment would take effect for the 2022 draft class.

History of One and Done

The NBA’s current minimum age requirement of 19 was instituted in 2006, with the last draft featuring high school graduates being 2005.  Since the “one and done” era began in ’06, players that have played only one season in college and then declared for the draft have dominated the top draft picks chosen. A nearly 10 year stretch of such players being chosen #1 overall begin in 2010, with the top 10 picks each year in these drafts also being populated by these players.

The NBA’s commissioner actually raised the issue of adjusting the minimum age for draft eligible players back in the summer of 2017. His focus then was to argue for raising it to age 20, but to allow players to come out of high school and enter directly into the NBA’s developmental league (G League) until they could officially join the NBA ranks.

This past spring, however, the NCAA’s Commission on College Basketball recommended that players be allowed to declare for the NBA draft coming out of high school at age 18, with the option to play in college if they went undrafted.  The commission, chaired by former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, found that the “one and done rules have played a significant role in corrupting and destabilizing college basketball and the restricting the freedom of choice for players.”

We will see how this change plays out and whether we see better basketball because of it in either the NBA or NCAA. Learn more about the Anders Sports, Arts & Entertainment Group to see how we help athletes plan for their financial future.