Three years in the past, there have been solely high-major, blue-blood packages vying for the highest highschool expertise within the nation. Over the previous summer season and thru this highschool season, NBA scouts and executives have been allowed to attend a report variety of AAU and excessive occasions. Very quickly, it is going to be a high participant selecting between 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 had been anticipated to vary 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, G League Ignite or abroad. The earliest time-frame 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 capable of attend extra highschool occasions and scout high-level gamers at a youthful age, it is positively coming.”
The McDonald’s All-American Sport and Nike Hoop Summit was the primary in-person introduction to NBA scouts and executives earlier than the participant turned draft eligible 12 months somewhat over a 12 months later. Each video games spotlight the highest senior basketball gamers within the nation and NBA personnel line the health club for a handful of practices and scrimmages earlier than the all-star sport.
“This 12 months is totally different in that we have seen this group of seniors a number of instances already and it is solely the top of January,” one other NBA scout informed Yahoo Sports activities. “It is nonetheless a fantastic benchmark for us and good to see the expansion in some gamers.”
NBA scouts had been capable of 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 lately, 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 season, there have been extra NBA scouts at a 15-under sport between the 2 high sophomores, Cameron Boozer and Cooper Flagg, than school coaches.
“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 plenty of time for each [Flagg and Boozer], however there’s loads to love about their sport.”
Since this previous summer season, scouts have been capable of see Boozer and Flagg two extra instances every on the USA Basketball minicamp in October and each performed on the Hoophall Traditional with their highschool groups, incomes first-team honors.
“I simply wish to present the NBA scouts my versatility and that I’ve an inside-out sport,” Boozer informed Yahoo Sports activities. “If I simply preserve bettering on myself and dealing on changing into the very best model of me, that may shine via on the court docket.”
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 deep into the house. The Oklahoma City Thunder added former Rivals.com nationwide recruiting analyst Corey Evans two years in the past to their scouting staff. Quickly after, the Minnesota Timberwolves introduced the addition of Josh Gershon, a former recruiting analyst for 247 Sports activities.
There’s plenty of preparation occurring behind the scenes signaling the end of the one-and-done era, however no official announcement of progress or timeline.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated he was longing for a change to the present 19-year-old age-limit rule that requires 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 feel 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 report: After I stability all of those varied issues, I feel that may be the appropriate 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 with all the small print that must be labored out. Might it probably occur in 2025 (Flagg and Boozer’s highschool senior class) or 2026? The highschool freshman class is displaying promising indicators with AJ Dybantsa and Tyran Stokes already turning heads, so the 2026 NBA draft might be a monster draft if the one-and-done rule was eliminated by then.
Till that date is introduced and solidified, NBA scouts will proceed to pack extra highschool gyms or sit alongside school coaches throughout AAU tournaments, scouting the subsequent wave of NBA expertise arising and getting ready for the top of the one-and-done period.