Three years ago, there were only highly specialized programs competing for the nation’s top high school talent. This past summer and during this high school season, NBA scouts and executives were allowed to attend a record number of AAU and high school events. Very soon, a top player will have a choice between Duke, Kentucky, Kansas or going straight to the NBA — something that hasn’t been an option since 2005.
Hum trading began in early September as the NBA and National Basketball Players Association were expected to change the eligible draft age from 19 to 18, clearing the way for high school players to move directly into the NBA, forgoing the gap year in college. , at G League Ignite or abroad. The earliest timeframe for change will be the 2024 NBA Draft.
“It’s only a matter of time before they change the rule,” an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. “I don’t know if it will happen once the 2024 draft, which was originally reported, but the fact that we’re all able to go to more high school events and scout high-level players at a younger age, it’s definitely coming.”
The McDonald’s All-American Game and Nike Hoop Summit used to be the first personal introduction to NBA scouts and executives before players became draft-eligible just over a year later. Both games highlight the best senior basketball players in the country, and NBA employees line the gym for a few practices and brawls before the All-Star game.
“This year is different as we’ve seen this group of seniors a few times already, and it’s still only the end of January,” another NBA scout tells Yahoo Sports. “He continues to be a great benchmark for us and it’s good to see the growth in some of the players.”
NBA scouts have been able to attend several high school and AAU events for the first time, including Pangos All-American Camp, Adidas 3SSB Circuit, Tarkanian Classic, and most recently the Hoophall Classic two weeks early. They also spent two years participating in games at the NBPA Top 100 Camp and Nike’s Peach Jam.
Last summer, there were more NBA scouts than college coaches in an under-15 matchup between two of their best sophomores, Cameron Boozer and Cooper Flagg.
“This is the first time I’ve ever scouted a player with a mouth full of braces,” an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports after watching Flagg and Bowser at Peach Jam. “They are both young, and there is plenty of time for both of them [Flagg and Boozer]But there is a lot to like about their game.
Since last summer, the scouts have been able to see Boozer and Flagg two more times each at the USA Basketball minicamp in October and at the Hoophall Classic with their high school teams, where they both earned first-team honors.
“I just want to show NBA scouts how versatile I am and that I have a game from the inside out,” Bowser told Yahoo Sports. “If I keep improving myself and working on becoming the best version of myself, that will shine through on the court.”
The NBA is already adjusting to the potential removal of the “one-and-do” rule, hiring former grassroots and high school analysts and insiders who are already plugged into the space. the Oklahoma City Thunder Corey Evans, the former national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, added him to his scouting team two years ago. After a brief period , Minnesota Timberwolves Announcing the addition of Josh Gershon, former recruiting analyst for 247 Sports.
There is a lot of preparation behind the scenes Suggesting the end of an era one didHowever, there has been no official announcement of progress or schedule.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he hopes to change the 19-year-old age limit rule, which requires draft-eligible players to be removed one year from high school, when he addressed the media in July. During his annual press conference at the conclusion of meetings of the league’s board of governors, Silver said: “I think there is an opportunity [to change it]. “
“It [based on] Bigger conversations than just going from 19 to 18, but I’m on the record: when I weigh all these different considerations, I think that’s going to be the right thing to do, and hopefully that’s a change that we’re making in the next collective bargaining cycle that’s going to happen in the next couple of years.” .
It seems unlikely that change will be in 2024, given all the details that still need to be worked out. Could it happen in 2025 (the graduating class of Flagg and Boozer High School) or 2026? The high school freshman class is showing promising signs, with AJ Dybantsa And Teran Stokes All eyes have already turned, so the 2026 NBA draft could be a beast if the one-and-done rule is removed by then.
Until this change is announced and solidified, NBA scouts will continue to pack high school gyms and sit alongside college coaches during AAU tournaments, scouting for the next wave of upcoming NBA talent and preparing for the end of an era of one-and-done.