When will the one-and-done rule end? NBA scout attendance increases at high school events
Three years ago, there were only top-tier blue-blood programs competing for the nation’s top high school talent. Last summer and into this high school season, NBA scouts and executives were able to attend a record number of AAU and high school events. Pretty soon, he’ll be a top player with a choice between Duke, Kentucky, Kansas or going straight to the NBA, which hasn’t been an option since 2005.
In early September, rumblings began to circulate that the NBA and National Basketball Players Association were expected to change the age for the draft from 19 to 18, possibly clearing the way for high school players to go straight to the NBA, forgoing a sabbatical from college. in the G League Ignite or abroad. The earliest time frame for the trade would be for the 2024 NBA Draft.
“It’s just a matter of time before they change the rule,” an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. “I don’t know if it will be as early as the 2024 Draft that was originally reported, but the fact that we all get to go to more high school events and look for high-level players at a younger age is definitely coming.”
The McDonald’s All-American Game and Nike Hoop Summit used to be the first in-person introduction to NBA scouts and executives before players became eligible for the draft a little more than a year later. Both games highlight the best senior basketball players in the country, and NBA personnel line the gym for a handful of workouts and practices before the All-Star Game.
“This year is different because we’ve already seen this group of seniors several times, and it’s only late January,” another NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. “He’s still a great reference for us and it’s good to see the growth of some players.”
NBA scouts were able to attend several high school and AAU events for the first time, including the Pangos All-American Camp, the Adidas 3SSB circuit, the Tarkanian Classic and most recently the Hoophall Classic two weekends ago . They have also spent two years playing in the NBPA Top 100 Camp and Nike’s Peach Jam.
Last summer, there were more NBA scouts than college coaches at a minor-15 game between two top sophomores, Cameron Boozer and Cooper Flagg.
“This is the first time I’ve scouted a player with a mouth full of braces,” an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports after watching Flagg and Boozer at Peach Jam. “They are young and there is plenty of time for both of them [Flagg and Boozer]but there’s a lot to like about his game.”
Since last summer, scouts have been able to see Boozer and Flagg twice more each at the USA Basketball minicamp in October and at the Hoophall Classic with their high school teams, where both earned first-team honors team
“I just want to show NBA scouts my versatility and that I have an inside-out game,” Boozer told Yahoo Sports. “If I keep improving and working to become the best version of me, that will shine through on the court.”
The NBA is already adjusting to the possible removal of the one-and-done rule, hiring former junior and secondary analysts and people already connected to the space. The Oklahoma City Thunder added former Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Corey Evans to his scouting staff two years ago. Shortly after, the The Minnesota Timberwolves announced the addition of Josh Gershon, a former 247 Sports recruiting analyst.
There is a lot of preparation behind the scenes signaling the end of the era of factbut there has been no official announcement of progress or timeline.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he expected a change to the current 19-year-old age limit rule, which requires draft-eligible players to be one year removed from high school, when he addressed the media in July. During his annual press conference at the end of the league’s board of governors meetings, Silver said: “I think there is an opportunity [to change it].”
“Is [based on] bigger conversations than if we go from 19 to 18, but I’m on the record: when I balance all those considerations, I think it would be the right thing to do, and I hope that’s a change that we make in this next collective bargaining cycle, which is going to happen in the next two years,” he said.
It seems unlikely that the change will be in 2024, given all the details that have yet to be worked out. Could it happen in 2025 (Flag and Boozer’s high school class) or 2026? The high school freshman class is showing promising signs, with AJ Dybants i Tyran Stokes is already turning heads, so the 2026 NBA Draft could be a monster if the one-and-done rule is eliminated by then.
Until that change is announced and solidified, NBA scouts will continue to pack high school gyms and sit next to college coaches during AAU tournaments, looking for the next wave of talent NBA approaching and preparing for the end of the era of the one and done.
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