The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association agreed on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) a little over a week ago.
Some of the details have emerged, and one of them that has caught the interest of pundits is that high school players are still not eligible to enter the NBA draft.
For some time, there have been clamors for the league to allow prep-to-pro players again. However, the latest CBA, which will run until the 2029-30 season unless the parties opt out after the 2028-29 campaign, still won’t let the league let in high school draftees.
One of the reasons behind it is that it seems that some veteran players don’t want younger hoopers to come in and take their spots, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
“One other thing that stuck out to me and other executives around the league is high school players not being eligible to be drafted,” Scotto said. “A lot of people thought that was going to be a thing in this new CBA. I heard some NBA veterans expressed concern over high school players coming in and taking their spots. From NBA scouts I talk to, they’re fine not going to high school gyms. One executive said it best to me, ‘I think high school players will be NBA-eligible maybe in the next CBA. With the NIL, players are somewhat satisfied, and the league doesn’t feel as much pressure to allow the kids to make money.'”
It appears the veterans’ sentiments weren’t the only reason that a rule allowing high school graduates to turn pro wasn’t established.
Per Scotto, some NBA scouts aren’t too keen on performing additional work by going to high school gyms to evaluate prospects.
Moreover, the NIL (name, image and likeness) policy in the NCAA has allowed collegiate players to be compensated beyond what their scholarships may be offering them. As such, some prospects aren’t hurrying to go pro since they can already make money in the amateur ranks.