Zion Williamson is expected to be this year’s No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft, and, after a freak injury last night saw him hobbling off the floor during the Duke Blue Devils-UNC Tar Heels game due to his foot literally exploding through his shoe, the league has already started the process to try and prevent future stars from sacrificing injury while in college. Naturally, with a player of such stature, everyone is talking about Zion today.
As people debate whether or not Zion Williamson should or shouldn’t play another second in college hoops this season, the NBA is going another step forward, officially submitting a proposal to change the one and done rule that’s currently in place — which requires a draft prospect to be at least one year removed from high school graduation. While the proposal doesn’t mean that it’ll happen, it’s at least a step in the right direction, so here’s what Sports Illustrated had to write about the proposed changes.
The NBA has submitted a proposal to the National Basketball Players Association to lower the age of eligibility for players to enter the draft from 19 to 18, according to USA Today.
The league and union have had informal discussions on the matter in the past, but the NBPA and executive director Michele Roberts planned to review the proposal at a meeting on Monday, reports USA Today.
The NBA and NBPA would both have to agree to lower the draft-eligibility age, and the reported proposal is the first step to the two sides negotiating the change by the 2022 draft. Setting the date to 2022 would give teams time to adjust to the possible change. Adjusting the rule would allow players to enter the NBA straight out of high school and make money right away.
The NBA implemented the current one and done rule in 2005, which was supposed to protect teams from taking such huge financial risks on unproven teenagers, among other things. But the discussion has always been about trying to change the rule at some point, with Zion Williamson’s injury being one of the most obvious times to reengage in those talks.
Although the proposal is the first step in trying to change the current rule for NBA Draft prospects, Commissioner Adam Silver has also tried to be unique in finding a solution, too. Just last year, it was reported that he was looking into how the league could work with AAU and other high-profile high school leagues to provide guidance for future prospects, with the Sports Illustrated article saying Silver aimed at “providing them with instruction in skills camps and having more interaction with them in the summer.”
Zion Williamson is hyped as a once-in-a-generation NBA player, with some experts believing he could earn over $1 billion by the time it’s all said and done. With that much money at stake for a potential superstar, it’s wise for the NBA to start talks now about changing the current rule, so we’ll see what happens with the proposal.