Three years in the past, there have been solely high-major, blue-blood applications vying for the highest highschool expertise within the nation. Over the previous summer time and thru this highschool season, NBA scouts and executives have been allowed to attend a document variety of AAU and highschool occasions. Very quickly, it is going to be a prime participant selecting amongst Duke, Kentucky, Kansas or going straight to the NBA — one thing that hasn’t been an choice since 2005.
Murmurs began circulating in early September that the NBA and Nationwide Basketball Gamers Affiliation have been anticipated to alter the draft-eligible age from 19 to 18, probably clearing the way in which for highschool gamers to go straight to the NBA, forgoing the hole 12 months in school, within the G League Ignite or abroad. The earliest time-frame for the change can be for the 2024 NBA Draft.
“It is solely a matter of time earlier than they modify the rule,” one NBA scout informed Yahoo Sports activities. “I do not know if it is going to be as quickly because the 2024 Draft, which was initially reported, however the truth that we’re all in a position to attend extra highschool occasions and scout high-level gamers at a youthful age, it is undoubtedly coming.”
The McDonald’s All-American Recreation and Nike Hoop Summit was the primary in-person introduction to NBA scouts and executives earlier than gamers turned draft eligible a little bit greater than a 12 months later. Each video games spotlight the highest senior basketball gamers within the nation, and NBA personnel line the gymnasium for a handful of practices and scrimmages earlier than the all-star recreation.
“This 12 months is totally different in that we have seen this group of seniors a number of occasions already, and it is solely the tip of January,” one other NBA scout informed Yahoo Sports activities. “It is nonetheless an amazing benchmark for us and good to see the expansion in some gamers.”
NBA scouts have been in a position to attend a number of highschool and AAU occasions for the primary time, together with the Pangos All-American Camp, Adidas 3SSB Circuit, Tarkanian Traditional and, most not too long ago, the Hoophall Traditional two weekends in the past. They’ve additionally spent two years taking in video games on the NBPA Prime 100 Camp and Nike’s Peach Jam.
This previous summer time, there have been extra NBA scouts than school coaches at a 15-under recreation between two prime sophomores, Cameron Boozer and Cooper Flagg.
“That is the primary time I’ve ever scouted a participant with a mouth filled with braces,” one NBA scout informed Yahoo Sports activities after watching Flagg and Boozer at Peach Jam. “They’re younger, and there is a variety of time for each [Flagg and Boozer], however there’s so much to love about their recreation.”
Since this previous summer time, scouts have been in a position to see Boozer and Flagg two extra occasions every on the USA Basketball minicamp in October and the Hoophall Traditional with their highschool groups, at which each earned first-team honors.
“I simply wish to present the NBA scouts my versatility and that I’ve an inside-out recreation,” Boozer informed Yahoo Sports activities. “If I simply hold enhancing on myself and dealing on turning into the very best model of me, that may shine by way of on the courtroom.”
The NBA is already adjusting to the potential elimination of the one-and-done rule, hiring former grassroots and highschool analysts and insiders who’re already plugged into the house. The Oklahoma City Thunder added former Rivals.com nationwide recruiting analyst Corey Evans to their scouting crew two years in the past. Quickly after, the Minnesota Timberwolves introduced the addition of Josh Gershon, a former recruiting analyst for 247 Sports activities.
There’s a variety of preparation occurring behind the scenes signaling the end of the one-and-done era, however there was no official announcement of progress or timeline.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated he was eager for a change to the present 19-year-old age-limit rule, which requires draft-eligible gamers to be one 12 months faraway from highschool, when he addressed the media in July. Throughout his annual information convention on the conclusion of the league’s board of governors conferences, Silver stated, “I believe there’s a possibility [to change it].”
“It is [based on] bigger conversations than simply whether or not we go from 19 to 18, however I am on document: Once I stability all of those varied concerns, I believe that might be the fitting factor to do, and I’m hopeful that that is a change we make on this subsequent collective bargaining cycle, which can occur within the subsequent couple years,” he stated.
The change appears unlikely to be in 2024, given all the small print that also must be labored out. Might it occur in 2025 (Flagg and Boozer’s highschool senior class) or 2026? The highschool freshman class is exhibiting promising indicators, with AJ Dybantsa and Tyran Stokes already turning heads, so the 2026 NBA Draft could possibly be a monster one if the one-and-done rule is eliminated by then.
Till that change is introduced and solidified, NBA scouts will proceed to pack highschool gyms and sit alongside school coaches throughout AAU tournaments, scouting the following wave of NBA expertise developing and getting ready for the tip of the one-and-done period.