NBA Preps-to-Pros Draft Era: Winners and Losers

Image from the article titled Winners and Losers of the NBA's Potential Relaunch of the Preps-to-Pros Draft Era

Photograph: SHOVEL

On Monday night, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who normally acts as the unofficial megaphone for NBA prospects, threw cold water on the chances of draft eligibility being reduced to 18, reporting that the one-and-one rule soon will be slowly reversed. so that teams that accumulated future first-round picks under the assumption that they would be recruiting 19-year-old virtuosos rather than 18-year-old unknowns do not need to alter their strategies.

However, it is total nonsense. The Utah Jazz recently traded first-round picks in 2029 in the Gobert trade. So congratulations to prospects in 2030. Or teams that don’t want to draft on an “18+ system” can swap their picks. It’s a simple solution.

Woj’s report sounds like a blocking tactic by the league’s owners that will be quickly taken down by the NBPA. When the draft eligibility age was raised in 2005, there was no grace period. It started almost immediately and the teams that have future picks haven’t lost their rhythm. The league’s general managers will adjust quickly, as they always do. First-round picks are still first-round picks, no matter what environment teams are gearing up in. There are no asterisk choices, just as there are no asterisk titles. Good general managers will find the gems at 18 or 19, while perennially mediocre teams in the top 10, like the Sacramento Kings, will select Marvin Bagley over 18-year-old EuroLeague MVPs.

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