It's the new game sweeping the nation: the birthday game. With a 19-year-old limit possibly a week from becoming the norm, here's quick look at who would be in the draft from the Class of 2006... and who would have to spend time in college. For example, the 6'11" Lopez Twins who have committed to Stanford were born on April 1, 1988 and would be just 18 next June - thus not draft eligible.
Speculation is running rampant about a potential new 19-year-old age limit and the NBA Draft. If the collective bargaining agreement gets signed as is, then reportedly you will need to be 19 by the date of the draft next season in order to apply.
Now, there's always the possibility that in the next few days the two sides could agree on an exception - say for instance a player gets deemed a lottery pick. However, so far no national media types are reporting that as a possibility at this juncture.
So, let's say the 2006 Draft is held on June 28, 2006. To be eligible for that draft, a player would have to turn 19 on or before the morning of the draft. Here's a breakdown of what we know about the top players in 2006 and their status.
Daequan Cook, SG, 4/28/1987 (Scout.com No. 8)
Paul Harris, SF, 10/15/1986 (No. 9)
Vernon Macklin, PF, 9/25/1986 (No. 10)
HEADED TO COLLEGE
Greg Oden, C, 1/22/1988 (No. 1)
Kevin Durant, SF, 9/30/1988 (No. 2)
Brandan Wright, PF, 10/5/1987 (No. 3)
Darrell Arthur, PF, 11/10/87 (No. 4)
Thaddeus Young, SF, 6/21/1988 (No. 5)
Wayne Ellington, SG, 10/29/1987 (No. 6)
Spencer Hawes, C, 4/28/1988 (No. 7)
Derrick Caracter, PF, 5/4/1988 (No. 11)
Damion James, SF, 10/7/1987 (No. 13)
Lance Thomas PF, 4/24/1988 (No. 15)
Curtis Kelly, PF 4/11/1988 (No. 16)
If you wish to look ahead toward the Class of 2007, we've got some early birthdays there as well. For instance, O.J. Mayo and his pal Bill Walker would both be draft eligible so would Kyle Singler.
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