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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Why UConn star Paige Bueckers is not eligible for 2021 WNBA Draft

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There are many proficient gamers obtainable as a part of the 2021 WNBA Draft class, with prime prospects comparable to Charli Collier, Awak Kuier, Arella Guirantes, Rennia Davis and Aari McDonald anticipated to come back off the board early within the first spherical.

One title you will not be listening to throughout Thursday night time’s broadcast, although? Paige Bueckers.

MORE: Methods to watch the 2021 WNBA Draft

The UConn guard averaged 20.0 factors, 5.8 assists and 4.9 rebounds per recreation final season whereas taking pictures 52.4 p.c from the sphere and 46.4 p.c from 3-point vary. She turned the primary freshman to ever win the AP Participant of the Yr award and led the Huskies to the Last 4 of the 2021 NCAA Match.

Bueckers would undoubtedly be the largest star on this 12 months’s group of prospects, however she is just not eligible for the 2021 WNBA Draft due to the algorithm put in place by the league’s most up-to-date collective bargaining settlement.

Why is not Paige Bueckers eligible for the 2021 WNBA Draft?

Not like the NBA, there is no such thing as a one-and-done coverage for the WNBA. The present collective bargaining settlement states {that a} participant is eligible if she might be no less than 22 years previous throughout the calendar 12 months by which the draft is held and has both no remaining school eligibility or will surrender her remaining school eligibility.

Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu, for instance, may have declared for the 2019 WNBA Draft as a result of she was turning 22 that 12 months. As a substitute, she determined to return to Oregon for her senior season.

A participant can be eligible if she might be graduating from a four-year school or college inside three months of the draft. A world participant is eligible if she might be no less than 20 years previous throughout the calendar 12 months by which the draft is held.

Bueckers is simply 19 years previous and was born in October 2001, so she will not be eligible till 2023.

Will the WNBA change its draft eligibility guidelines?

The WNBA and Ladies’s Nationwide Basketball Gamers Affiliation reached an settlement on a collective bargaining settlement in January 2020. The brand new CBA, which runs by 2027, marked a major enchancment for participant compensation and advantages, however WNBPA vp Sue Chicken admitted that the draft was not a serious a part of negotiations.

“The reality is, generally in CBA talks when there’s a lot that must be addressed or fastened, you aren’t getting to all the things,” Chicken mentioned (by way of ESPN’s Kevin Pelton). “And sadly, that was one factor. If anybody’s been concerned in a negotiation, they know you have to have a precedence listing.”

Nevertheless, WNBA gamers typically appear supportive of giving prospects the flexibility to depart early in the event that they really feel snug renouncing their school eligibility. This subject will doubtless be a part of future discussions between the WNBA and WNBPA.

“I assume the subsequent step is to have that choice,” Mercury star Diana Taurasi mentioned. “Will children do it? Most likely not. However it’s best to have that choice. It’s a profession path you take and in the event you’re one of the best at your occupation, it’s best to be capable to maintain getting higher. Not saying that they will not in school, but it surely’s only a completely different stage if you get to the professionals.”



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