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Eligibility for all future NBA Drafts changed by major rule addition in new CBA

nba draft
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

When the new collective bargaining agreement kicks in later this year, NBA draft prospects will have new mandatory requirements that give all teams the type of access they have long wanted for the top amateurs in the sport.

The NBA Draft is a monumental moment each year for many amateur players and all 30 NBA teams. It is a chance to have lifelong dreams come true, and for franchises to hopefully find the player that will revolutionize their organizations in the years ahead. However, the process for vetting the top prospects in basketball hasn’t always been favorable to all NBA teams.

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Well, that is set to change in the new NBA CBA that starts in the 2023-2024 season. On Tuesday, ESPN reported that players hoping to be selected in future NBA drafts will be “required to attend and participate in the NBA draft combine or be ineligible to be drafted until the ‘first subsequent draft for which the player attends and fully participates.'”

nba draft
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The change is huge when it comes to organizations being able to fully research and scout every player available in the annual events. Previously, top prospects often passed on attending the combine, or agents withheld key medical records from certain teams hoping to avoid their clients from going to undesirable cities.

“Participation will include league medical examinations, sharing of medical history, and biomechanical and functional movement testing, as well as strength and agility testing, shooting drills, performance testing, and anthropometric measurements. Players will also be required to conduct team interviews, media circuits, player development sessions, and other assessments, as determined by the NBA in consultation with the NBPA. Players will not be compelled to compete in 5-on-5 scrimmaging, which typically only a handful of first-round prospects elect to participate in.”

– ESPN report on NBA Draft changes

This will now bring the NBA combine a similar interest level from fans as the NFL version. Furthermore, it will allow teams more opportunities to properly evaluate players and have the most information possible before making major investments in these teenage prospects.

If NBA Draft prospects have prior obligations or reasons to miss the combine, such as “FIBA club still in-season, family tragedy, the birth of a child, or due to injury,” they will be permitted to miss the event. But the report notes they will still be required to complete certain parts of the combine at a later date.

The NBA and NBAPA will also create top-10 prospects rankings heading into each year’s draft.