Why UConn star Paige Bueckers is not eligible for the 2021 WNBA draft
Within the 2021 WNBA Draft class there are plenty of talented players available, such as Charli Collier, Awak Kuier, Arella Guirantes, Rennia Davis and Aari McDonald at the top of the table.
A name you won’t hear on Thursday night’s show, though? Paige Bueckers.
The UConne guard averaged 20.0 points, 5.8 assists and 4.9 rebounds last season, averaging 52.4 percent from the field and 46.4 percent from a 3-point range. Same became the first new student ever to win the AP Player of the Year award and lead Husky to the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA Championship.
Bueckers would certainly be the biggest star on the solution team this year, but he has no chance of receiving the 2021 WNBA Draft due to the set of rules set by the league’s latest collective agreement.
Why isn’t Paige Bueckers entitled to receive the 2021 WNBA draft?
Unlike the NBA, there is no one-size-fits-all policy for the WNBA. The current collective agreement says so that a player will be eligible if he or she is at least 22 years old in the calendar year in which the draft is made and does not qualify for college or waives his or her other college entitlement.
Freedom guard Sabrina Ionescu, for example, could have sided with the 2019 WNBA draft because she turned 22 that year. Instead, he decided to return to Oregon during the senior season.
A player will also be eligible if he or she graduates from a four-year college or university within three months of the start of the draft. An international player will be eligible if he is at least 20 years old in the calendar year in which the draft is made.
Bueckers is just 19 years old and was born in October 2001, so he won’t be eligible until 2023.
Will the WNBA change its draft admission rules?
WNBA and National Association of Women’s Basketball Players reached an agreement on the collective agreement January 2020. The new CBA by 2027 led to a significant improvement in player compensation and benefits, but WNBPA Vice President Sue Bird acknowledged that the draft was not the main part of the negotiations.
“The truth is, sometimes when you have to focus or fix so much on CBA conversations, you don’t get to everything,” Bird said (Through ESPN’s Kevin Pelton). “And unfortunately, that was one thing. If someone has been involved in a negotiation, they know you have to have a list of priorities.”
However, WNBA players generally help to give solutions the ability to leave early if they feel comfortable giving up their right to college. This issue will likely be in the discussions between the WNBA and the WNBPA.
“I think the next step is to have that opportunity,” Mercury star Diana Taurasi said. “Will the kids do it? Probably not. But you should have that opportunity. It’s a career you’re working on and if you’re the best in your profession, you should keep improving. Not to mention they won. It’s not in college, but it’s another level when you get to professionals.” .