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Pro basketball is again devising plans to get more involved at the amateur level — or more specifically, the high school level, as documented in a report from ESPN.
The report, from longtime insider Brian Windhorst, is sure to add to the already hot topic of prospects being allowed to enter the draft straight out of high school. As it stands, they must be 19-years old or one year removed from high school to be draft-eligible.
Per the report:
Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver and several of his top advisers have been engaged in listening tours and information-gathering missions with an array of stakeholders for months. That has included formal meetings with the National Basketball Players Association about adjusting the so-called “one-and-done” age-limit rule. But Silver’s aim is much more comprehensive than simply re-opening the door for 18-year-olds to play in the NBA, sources said.
The plan would entail the league “starting relationships with elite teenagers while they are in high school, providing skills to help them develop both on and off the court,” Windhorst reported.
And while it may not necessarily mean players could enter the league straight out of high school again — it may mean they are able to avoid the “amateurism” of college basketball and get paid to play right away.
“It would ultimately open an alternate path to the NBA besides playing in college and a way 18-year-olds could earn a meaningful salary either from NBA teams or as part of an enhanced option in the developmental G League,” Windhorst wrote, citing sources.
Basically, the league apparently intends to take a look at how it can help improve the game at all levels.
“People have been saying we need to fix the AAU system for a long time,” an NBA general manager told ESPN. “At least for some of the kids we may end up having on our roster one day, this may be our chance to start that process.”