The NBA can never decide what it wants to do about its minimum age eligibility requirements. The one-and-done rule, which required players to be at least one year out of high school before becoming draft eligible, was established starting with the 2006 NBA Draft. It is a rule the league has never seemed entirely comfortable with. It looks more and more like it will disappear as soon as 2024, with the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement set to be negotiated ahead of that league year.
It remains to be seen what that change could mean for the teams. In theory, you might expect some franchises to be wary of gambling on unproven players, but others could offer some real value when it comes to NBA title betting with the best offshore sportsbooks if they can find some young stars who are ready to contribute straight away.
This means a new era of future stars could jump straight from their high school graduation into the NBA without a year in college, playing internationally, or in the G League. Here are the best players that did just that before 2006.
Best High School to NBA Players
Some out there don’t love LeBron either due to his apparent “lack” of championships (four) or how he has switched teams through the years. Regardless, the 37-year-old is one of the very few players that you can put in an honest discussion regarding the greatest players in the history of the NBA.
James, an 18-time All-Star, 13-time All-NBA First-Team selection, four-time league MVP, and four-time Finals MVP, has had a remarkable career after being drafted out of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in 2003.
The late great Kobe Bryant was another player who entered the NBA without college experience. A player with a will to win that was up there with Jordan, Kobe led his team to five NBA titles, often with supporting casts that could be described as underwhelming. Kobe will also go down in history for his 81-point game, a total that is still astonishing years after he went off against the Toronto Raptors to put up that number in 2006.
The No. 5 overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft, Kevin Garnett went on to establish himself comfortably as the greatest player in the history of the Minnesota Timberwolves franchise. The Big Ticket was a 15-time All-Star and won the MVP award with the Wolves in 2004 before winning the NBA title in 2008 while playing for the Boston Celtics. There are plenty of high school players who flamed out, but KG will go down as one of the greatest power forwards in league history.