NBA Rumors: Draft Age Limit Expected To Move Back To 18 In Next CBA Cycle
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As Bryce and Bronny James are edging closer to the start of their professional careers, the NBA community has been speculating when exactly LeBron James’ sons will be able to join the Los Angeles Lakers All-Star in the NBA.

Rules set by the NBA’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) mean that Bronny, who is three years older than Bryce, will become draft eligible no earlier than in 2024 — a year after graduating high school. However, the NBA has reportedly been considering changing the draft age limit from 19 years old to 18, leading to questions on whether James’ eldest son could enter the NBA sooner.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the age limit is expected to be reduced in the next CBA cycle — but the change likely won’t affect Bronny’s draft eligibility:

The league and NBPA are expected to agree on moving the age eligibility for the NBA Draft from 19 years old to 18, clearing the way for the return of high school players who want to make the leap to the NBA, per sources with knowledge of the discussions.

The NBA set the draft age limit at 19 years old in 2005. Silver said in July that he was “hopeful” for the rule changing in the next CBA cycle, and both sides appear motivated to reduce the age eligibility for the draft.

The reduced age limit for high school-to-NBA jumps would go into effect as early as the 2024 NBA Draft.

Interestingly, the change might not even allow Bryce to declare for the NBA Draft straight after high school. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that while the league’s negotiations with the NBPA indeed suggest an age limit reduction is on the horizon, that new CBA won’t necessarily eliminate the “one-and-done” rule for a number of years:

Introduced in 2005, the “one-and-done” rule states that a basketball player can declare for the NBA Draft only after completing at least one year of college. If it remains in place, the league still won’t allow for a straight high school-to-NBA jump.

It appears James will have to wait until his mid-40s if he genuinely wants to keep playing until both of his sons enter the league. While big changes are coming to the NBA, it looks like it will take a number of years before they are officially in place.

LeBron, Bryce & Bronny make September cover of Sports Illustrated

The news is unlikely to diminish the buzz that already accompanies James’ sons — who recently joined LeBron on the cover of the September edition of Sports Illustrated.

By doing so, Bryce and Bronny appeared in SI as high-schoolers some 20 years after LeBron did so in 2003.

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