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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 1:00 am

NBA

Draft eligibility change on way

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is certain that changes are coming to the league.

Some are easy. Others, not so much.

Speaking after the NBA's Board of Governors meeting Tuesday night, Silver said he thinks the league is ready to scrap the rule requiring players to be out of high school for a year before becoming eligible to enter the draft. That one should be relatively simple to move forward now, while notions such as how to find more competitive balance are still a puzzler to the league and its commissioner.

“I'm not here to say we have a problem,” Silver said. “And I love where the league is right now. But I think we can create a better system.”

Part of that better system, he thinks, will be reverting back to the policy that will allow players to go into the league right out of high school – something that should be in place in time for the 2021 NBA Draft, though that timeline has not been formally announced. Silver was a proponent of making the eligibility age older, up to 20 instead of the current 19, though has changed his stance on that in recent weeks.

“My personal view is that we're ready to make that change,” Silver said. “It won't come immediately. But when I've weighed the pros and cons, given that Condoleezza Rice and her commission have recommended to the NBA that those one-and-done players now come directly into the league and in essence the college community is saying 'We do not want those players anymore,' I think that tips the scale in my mind.”

Michele Roberts, the National Basketball Players Association's newly re-elected executive director – the players' union announced a new four-year deal for her earlier Tuesday – has had talks with Silver on the topic, though she stopped short of revealing specifics. Any change to the rule will require that the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement will have to be amended.

“Stay tuned,” Roberts said, adding, “I suspect that we'll have some news in the next few months.”

Tuesday's games

Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young finally got his shot going at NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. The No. 5 overall pick out of Oklahoma scored 24 points and made seven from beyond the arc to help the Hawks defeat the Chicago Bulls 101-93. Both teams are 1-2. ... Gary Trent Jr. scored 20 points to help the Trail Blazers (3-0) hold off the Spurs 95-89. Trey McKinney Jones, who played for the Mad Ants last season, had 11 for the Spurs (1-2). ... The Heat defeated the Jazz 98-90, led by Bam Adebayo's 24 points, and both teams are 1-2.

Stephenson signs

Lance Stephenson always felt his rivalry with LeBron James was rooted in mutual respect. When James called Stephenson to pitch him on teaming up with the Los Angeles Lakers, Stephenson's feelings were confirmed.

The Lakers formally announced the signings of Stephenson, JaVale McGee and second-round draft pick Svi Mykhailiuk on Tuesday.

Coming off a productive season in his latest stint with the Pacers, Stephenson agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal.

“It's actually funny that I'm actually on the same team as him,” Stephenson said.