> NBA age limit should be lowered to 18, says Adam Silver NBA

NBA age limit should be lowered to 18, says Adam Silver

NBA age limit should be lowered to 18, says Adam Silver

Jul 13
SW Creative
  • SportsWriters

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was “hopeful” the current age limit of 19 would be lowered to 18, saying it was “the right thing to do.”

“I think there’s an opportunity to change it,” Silver said in his annual news conference after summer league.

Silver was not the first to propose such a change. Negotiations between the NBA and National Basketball Players Association regarding the issue met an abrupt halt a few years ago.

Silver insisted that a change in the age limit would “clearly be on the table” in the upcoming collective bargaining talks.

Silver was in favor of raising the age limit to 20 in the past. However, he said “a lot of societal changes” had made it more beneficial for players to play from a younger age.

Silver added that the NBA must “begin working with young players on their development.”

The NBA age limit was raised to 19 from 18 in 2005. The change was made after Hall of Famers Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and Tracy McGrady entered the NBA as prospects.

"It's based on larger conversations than just whether we go from 19 to 18, but I'm on record. When I balance all of these various considerations, I think that would be the right thing to do, and I am hopeful that that's a change we make in this next collective bargaining cycle, which will happen in the next couple years."

- Adam Silver

The five youngest players in NBA history


  1. Andrew Bynum, Los Angeles Lakers: 18 years, 6 days.
  2. Jermaine O’Neal, Portland Trail Blazers: 18 years, 53 days
  3. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers: 18 years, 72 days.
  4. Darko Milicic, Detroit Pistons: 18 years, 133 days.
  5. Stan Brown, Philadelphia Warriors: 18 years, 139 days.

"Not just basketball skills but increasingly there's a focus on their mental health, their diets, just helping them build character and all of the important values around the sport."

- Adam Silver

Make Up Your Mind

In the early years, NBA players were drafted only after completing four years of college eligibility. If they were not enrolled in college, they had to wait until their four years were over before being drafted. NBA authorities changed the rule in the 1970s to allow high school graduates to participate in the NBA draft. A large number of young players entered the league as a result. Since 2005, an age limit has been determined, according to which no player with less than 19 years can be declared eligible for NBA Draft. Furthermore, the player must wait at least one more year to become eligible for the draft if he turns 19 before his high school graduation.

"It may be the case that it's in all of our interests that we start impacting with these young players, especially because in our sport, they are identified at such a young age."

- Adam Silver

  • National Basketball Association

    The National Basketball Association is a professional basketball league in North America.

  • Kobe Bryant

    Kobe Bean Bryant was an American professional basketball player. A shooting guard, he spent his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association .