Adam Silver admitted in the past that he favored the NBA increasing the age limit 20 years old. Now, Silver said the changing landscape of college sports has changed his mind that players should be able to enter the NBA at 18 years old.
“I think there’s an opportunity (to change it),” Silver said during his annual news conference during Summer League. “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.”
Silver said his mind has been changed due to the proliferation of NIL deals in college sports, players finding alternate pathways to the NBA and other factors. He believes players will be best set up for success if they are allowed to directly join the NBA.
“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,” Silver said, “and begin working with them on their development then, 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.”