That NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) are in “serious talks” about two major rule changes in the new collective bargaining agreement, a report said Monday.
These rules include removing a player’s NBA draft eligibility from 19 to 18, The athletics reported. In other words, a player wouldn’t have to be in college or a year away from high school before signing on to the draft.
This rule could be introduced as early as the 2024 draft.
A potential beneficiary of this rule change would be LeBron James, who has said he wants to play in the NBA with sons Bronny and Bryce before retiring. Bronny, 17, could be a freshman at college for the 2023-24 season and would not be affected by the rule change. But Bryce is 15 — his birthday is June 14, 2007 — meaning he could enter the 2025 NBA draft to play with his dad and brother when the league calls.
The two sides are also discussing allowing players to label mental health as a “disease,” similar to an injury label, the report said.
These talks are taking place against the backdrop of a mutual opt-out on December 15th in the current CBA.
The NBPA has also proposed a “players-only fund” for individuals’ post-playing careers to increase the ability to be part of an ownership group.
Tamika Tremaglio, Executive Director of the NBPA, believes it is imperative that the NBA help its players develop “generational wealth.”
“Creating generational wealth is crucial in this next chapter of the union,” Tremaglio said. “It’s critical to her legacy. In the past we’ve been so focused on making money – salary cap etc – but we all know that in order to have money, you have to invest. We also know that the uncertain lifespan (of an NBA career) makes it crucial to plan for what happens after the ball stops bouncing — to create that generational wealth.
“Thinking about players’ contributions to the game and how they can be compensated for that means there needs to be more equity structures in place. It could be selling a team. It could be the deals they do where they get equity beyond the four or five years that a contract is in place. It’s much broader and I don’t think we’ve looked at it historically. It was the here and now.
The 2022-23 NBA season begins October 18 when reigning Eastern Conference champions Boston Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers and reigning NBA champions Golden State Warriors host the Los Angeles Lakers.
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